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A Sign in Space - Electronic Literature

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 workshop will be hosted by Professors Scott Rettberg and Joseph Tabbi of the Center for Digital Narrative will explore the potentialities of electronic literature (e-lit) for the reception and interpretation of extraterrestrial communication. The workshop will include inputs from four leading digital authors: Natalia Fedorova, Jason Nelson, Allison Parrish, and Rob Wittig. The workshop will conclude with the launch of a new “netprov” - a collectively written fiction that all workshop attendees can contribute to both during the workshop and after. We welcome up to 40 participants in the workshop.



Monday, 06/05/23


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SETI Institute

, CA