Tate in Space was conceived as a site-specific artwork for the Tate website which appears as the online component of a development program for a new Tate museum in space. The website includes architectural propositions, a live webcam from a fictive Tate satellite, and information on job opportunities (currently no vacancies).
Tate in Space was conceived as a site specific artwork for the Tate website and commissioned in 2002 as part of their netart series.
The site is part fact, part fiction
It is intended as an agent provocateur; a catalyst, structure, space for people to occupy that also invites debate and reflection on the nature of art in space, cultural ambition, and an examining of the role of the institution and the individuals within.
Tate in Space can be viewed as an example of interactive or immersive fiction, with each browser/participant bringing their own extra terrestrial cultural fantasies to the project.
In some instances - such as the satellite sightings data - the work relies on participants 'wishing' or 'believing' aspects of the work into existence, thereby becoming co-authors, collaborating with both the artist and each other in a work of constantly expanding collective fiction.
The website appears as the online component of a development programme for a Tate in space. It is located at <http://www.tate.org.uk/space> and for its first year, July 2002 - September 2003, was integrated into the Tate home page alongside the existing Tates (Modern, Britain, Liverpool and St Ives).
Its language, design and structure is directly drawn from the language, design and structure of the regular Tate site. Its colour code was chosen from the approved Tate palette.
On the Tate in Space home page there is a map showing the Tate Satellite relative to its terrestrial counterparts. The little box representing the satellite orbits every 24 hours.
As part of the work Susan Collins commissioned architectural propositions for a Tate in Space from ETALAB, Softroom and Sarah Wigglesworth. These included pdf plans for paper architectural models which can be downloaded, printed out and assembled at home.
In early 2003 there was an international student architectural competition to design this new Tate. There were entries from more than seven countries. The website presents proposals and pdf models from the winners - StudioCousins - as well as the runner-up and finalists of the competition.
There is a section on Space Art including an essay by Eduardo Kac, and an associated discussion forum with contributions from space artists, writers and curators where issues have been addressed including:
Why a Tate in space? Space art or space pollution?
Tate in Space and earthcentricity - who and where is its audience?
The visiting information section includes an interactive 'live webcam' from a fictive Tate in Space satellite plus scientifically calculated sightings data from a range of global locations to enable visitors to view the Tate Satellite from earth.
There is also information on job opportunities at Tate in Space (currently no vacancies) plus an FAQ section.