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A Sign in Space - Celestial Wayfindings

A Sign in Space is a multidisciplinary art project conceived by artist Daniela De Paulis. De Paulis is leading a global team to send an encoded message from the European Space Agency (ESA) ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) back to Earth, simulating a signal an advanced extraterrestrial civilization could eventually send to Earth. The message will be “detected” by four radio astronomy observatories on Earth: the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array (ATA), The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the Medicina Radio Astronomical Station observatory managed by INAF (the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics). De Paulis and her team developed the encoded message, but its contents remain unknown, even to most of the collaborating partners.

The message will be transmitted from the TGO on May 24 at 19:16 UTC/12:15 pm PDT.
Following the transmission, the A Sign in Space team will host a series of Zoom-based discussions open to the public around topics that consider the societal implications of detecting a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization. The discussions will take place over 6-8 weeks after the transmission.

This hour-long workshop will focus on non-Western perspectives that understand the celestial as neither alien nor outer. In reflecting on the A Sign in Space project, we will engage in activities that explore how intelligent extraterrestrials might imagine language and spacial mapping in radically different ways. The workshop will be grounded within anthropologically-informed aspects of Polynesian wayfinding, nomadic spacial orientation, and how language itself structures what can be communicated. Throughout, these discussions will be related to examples from science fiction stories that bring speculative possibilities of SETI to life.

Hosted by Willi Lempert


Friday, 05/26/23


Website: Click to Visit



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SETI Institute

, CA