Artist Swaantje Güntzel to join ESOC for six-week residency



The German city of Darmstadt has a long history with both science and art. This summer, these worlds collide, as three artists head to the city for the Artist in Science Residence (AiSR) programme run by »Kultur einer Digitalstadt«.

158 artists from a wide variety of disciplines and 59 countries applied for the AiSR programme following the call for applications issued in February. They were narrowed down by a jury, and the three winners of a six-week residency in the city’s new artists’ colony have now been announced.

During their fellowship, the artists will live and work in the Atelierhaus Ludwig-Engel-Weg 1 on the Rosenhöhe in collaboration with a renowned Darmstadt research institute – either the European Space Agency’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), the Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research (GSI) or the Hessian Center for Artificial Intelligence (hessian.AI)

By giving the artists access to leading scientific institutions, the AiSR programme is designed to promote a sustainable exchange between science and art, to further develop independent artistic research, and to present and publish the projects carried out. 


Sustainability – on Earth and in space

German artist Swaantje Güntzel will work with ESOC from August 2022.

Swaantje’s work focusses on humankind’s impact on planet Earth. Her interdisciplinary style generates powerful images illustrating the serious issues our legacy threatens to leave behind. 

Now, she will turn her attention to space, and the swirling fragments of past space activities trapped in orbit around Earth, threatening current and future spacecraft.

“In collaboration with Kultur einer Digitalstadt, we at ESOC are pleased to be a source of inspiration for artists and to participate in the Artist in Science Residence programme,” said Rolf Densing, ESA Director of Operations and Head of ESOC. “We are especially looking forward to Swaantje Güntzel's artistic interpretation on the topic space debris, which is a central area of our Space Safety Programme. Among other things, the programme is developing strategies for future missions that address current challenges and aim to make the use of space more sustainable.” 

“I am very happy to have been selected for the »Kultur einer Digitalstadt« residency programme in Darmstadt and to get the chance to work as an artist-in-science in exchange with the teams at ESOC,” said Swaantje Güntzel. “During my residency, I would like to build on my previous artistic research to conceptually translate the theme of space debris and use art as a means to investigate the challenges and possibilities for the sustainable use of objects in space.”

ESOC is looking forward to new, exciting and surprising insights into our work as Europe’s Centre of Excellence for satellite operations!

For information on the artists selected for a residency at GSI and hessian.AI, click here (German).