People In Space

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People In Space
September 1st, 2010 - September 14th, 2010
Opening: September 30th, 2010 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

photography, mixed-media, digital, installation, video-art, performance, conceptual, surrealism


People In Space

An interactive artistic research delegation to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo


The Why

Things are getting crowded.

Over 55% of the world's population live in cities.

In the world's largest city one of the biggest events in history is happening.

Millions attend to wait in enormous lines to glimpse the future

presented in enormous temporary multimillion dollar pavilions.

Excited global audiences view round the clock coverage

of the event themed "Better City, Better Life."

Yet few Americans know its happening.


The What

PEOPLE IN SPACE addresses the lack of American participation in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo by organizing a group of American Voluntary Artist Ambassadors (A.V.A.A.) to attend.  This goodwill delegation will act as researchers, artists and organizers before, during and after the Expo.


RESEARCHERS A.V.A.A. while cultivating an active online community through a PEOPLE IN SPACE Website and popular social networking Services.


AUDIENCES both International and American will be encouraged to share media, engage in dialogue, propose surrogate works and create independent art in the spirit of the Expo and the United States' past participation.


CONTENT will be generated through documentary video and photography, creative actions, and blogging.  The A.V.A.A. will attempt to understand the enthusiasm of the largest world's fair in history through interviewing those in and around the expo.  Utilizing the longest lines in history the A.V.A.A. will enact both surrogate and preplanned actions to address the question "what are we waiting for?"


RESULTS will be shared upon return through exhibitions, the continuation of the online community, and the publishing of a project white paper.  The white paper will inform individuals and groups about our methodologies and their degrees of success. While our project is situated around the context of the Shanghai World Expo, we hope the strategies we use will be useful in a range of project contexts.



The How

Because of the short timeframe and large scope of this project, our success is dependent on the efficiency of our methods.  In focusing individual roles, determining filters to quickly accumulate content/data and establishing metrics to evaluate our success, we have tried to balance simplicity of execution with potential impact at all levels.  Each step of development has been documented so we can reference our process as necessary.


The A.R. Team has been working with developing maps of the expo which depict the Pavilions in terms of wealthiest and poorest nations; cost of pavilion vs. GDP of nation, attendance at pavilion vs. population of nation, etc.  These maps serve as quick reference points so we can use the time we have in Shanghai effectively, but also provide interesting visual content.


We have developed a method for proposing and tracking smaller missions within our project and a curatorial strategy to help us create and solicit works that can be recognized as a body of thematically related work.


Most importantly we have committed ourselves to present our project (through media, web, and creative action) in a way that is accessible to a general audience while acting as case study for artists and organizations.





The Who

The American Voluntary Artistic Ambassadors (A.V.A.A.)

A group of four artist researchers who will engage the World's Fair through creative action and documentation


Daniel DeLuca (Berwick Research Institute/Mobius) - Executive Director

Sandrine Schaefer (The Present Tense, co-founder of MEME Gallery)

- Artistic Director

Jill J. (Soi/Becomeuseful) - Communications Development Director

J.Sal (Soi/Becomeuseful) - Chief Strategist


The Artist Research Team (A.R.Team)

A group of dedicated Boston & Shanghai based artists, journalists and collaborators organized to provide info, analysis, insight and to evangelize for our project

Mia Lee - Journalist & Translator - China

Jessie Brandon - Research Coordinator - USA

Marissa Georgiou - Research Coordinator - USA

Lily Sheng - Artist & Translator - China

Jessica Gath - Artist Consultant – USA

Mark Vann – Content Consultant – USA





Providing creative consultation, organizational support and outreach.

The Berwick Research Institute

Providing fiscal sponsorship, oversite, operational support and outreach.

Soi Transnational

Providing project development, methodology and documentary support.

The Present Tense

Providing curatorial oversite, presentation support, outreach and administration.


Our Potential:

Most importantly there is a long history of innovation, competition and participation in the Worlds Fair to be rebooted in the imaginations of 300 million Americans.