14 Dec
Celestial-Labs

Online 14 Dec 18:00 – 19:30

Above Ground: Creative Explorations Across Sky and Space

This Winter’s public lecture from The Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries “Above Ground” explores themes of creativity and technology across sky and space. The panel event, hosted by The Studio, will bring together four speakers from the worlds of astronomy, aerospace, sky theatre and the visual arts.

The event will be live-streamed from The Studio, you can book tickets here.

Speaker Biographies

Maria Kalama, Lacuna Space

Maria Kalama is the Business Development Director for Lacuna Space, a global connectivity provider using satellites. She leads the work to expand partnerships, promote services and support business growth into new markets. She has over 15 years of experience in the space sector and holds a PhD in satellite networking. Maria is a passionate supporter of women in tech.

Charles Draper, Chairman of the Herschel Society

Charles Draper FRAS was going to be an astronomer but spent his time at university doing too many other things and joined the MOD instead. He retired from his Whitehall career in 2009, and returned to astronomy, helping to revive Bath Astronomers from 2010, and taking over the Chairmanship of what is now the Herschel Society in 2016. The Society now runs in association with the Royal Astronomical Society the Caroline Herschel Prize Lectureship to support female astronomers early in their careers. The Society and Museum are currently developing plans to celebrate William’s achievements next year on the 200th anniversary of his death in 1822.

John Hopkins, Founder and Creative Director, Celestial Labs



Founded by Tony Martin, John Hopkins and Nick Kowalski, Celestial is a tech company focusing on the development of control systems to facilitate complex drone swarm displays. They specialise in live motion capture of human movement to control the drones and are looking to develop technology that can drive organic, daytime drone displays that mimic swarming behaviours in nature, such as the murmurations of starlings. Their night ‘Skytheatre’ displays are a dynamic, safe and green alternative to carbon-intensive fireworks.

Rachel Smith and Maud Canisius



Maud Canisius
and Rachel Smith are an artist duo based in the Netherlands and UK respectively. Having met whilst studying for an MFA in Media Art at Bauhaus Uni Weimar and developed interests in interactivity, algorithms and human/non-human relations, their
individual practices have conjoined in the collaborative artwork, We Stayed up all Night Waiting for the Sun to Set.

Maud Canisius (NL) is an artist and landscape architect currently working for the municipality of Rotterdam to make the city water resilient. Her practice is research-based and process-oriented with a focus on walking as an artistic gesture, sensorial tool, and connector between people and environments.

Rachel Smith (UK) is an artist and creative technologist and is currently a resident at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol. Her interests lie in emergent and ubiquitous technology and its relationship with humans. With an undergraduate degree in Maths, Rachel is particularly interested in collaborating artistically with machines and humans through code.

You can book tickets here.