ArtCan in Space! We Chat with Hannah Pratt

In early 2021, ArtCan artist and membership director Hannah Pratt was an Artist in Residence with Planet Labs – the largest global imaging network in the world. We caught up with Hannah after some of her work was launched into space – etched into the side of a satellite launched through the SpaceX programme!

Hi Hannah! Can you tell us how would you describe your art practice?

I have an intersectional practice linking art and science together through collaborations with artists, scientists and musicians. I look at the relationship between data and people to create a narrative to explore the links between how we absorb data and science. I use digital and analogue techniques to make data and large concepts such as space travel, sounds of the universe and climate change more relatable on a personal level.

How did the opportunity to launch your art into space come about?

Photo of one of the rockets carrying Dove satelittes being launched into space

It was quite a journey! Last year I took part in a great digital residency with Planet, a company started by scientists and engineers from NASA which has the largest constellation of global imaging satellites circling the Earth, called ‘Doves’. They have a fantastic artist in residency programme that has been running for several years, and I was approached by the programme to take part in a digital residency from April to June 2021.

One of the main focuses within the company is to document the ever-changing landscape of the Earth, which with the ever-present threat of climate change is more important than ever. For more information on my residency, you can check out my website here.

During the residency, I was asked to submit work for Planet’s programme in which artists are asked to provide works to be laser etched onto one of their Doves. The works are etched onto the reflector panels of the Doves, so any designs submitted can only cover 20% of the total service area therefore I submitted three line drawings based on how stars move in space.

I was so pleased when one of my works was selected, and watched with watched the launch on the 13th January 2022 with such happiness, it was a real career highlight!

What are your next big plans for the year?

I have a couple of projects planned for 2022 which I am working on but honestly, I want to focus on work that I am proud to exhibit, concentrate on developing my skills in creative coding and start printmaking again.

Follow Hannah on Instagram via @hannashpratt