season 2 episode 16 – Everything is Connected | Richelle Gribble
In this episode, Richelle Gribble, an expeditionary artist who explores planetary connectivity, both on and off Earth, speaks about her experience at biosphere 2, the north pole, and why she is practicing to become an astronaut.
Resources and links
[00:00:00] Nir Hindi: Hey, Richelle. Welcome to The Artian podcast.
[00:00:03] Richelle Gribble: Hello, great to be here.
[00:00:05] Nir Hindi: Good morning in LA. Good afternoon. In Madrid. I’m super excited about our conversation. We are going to speak about the moon and the space and art and all the wonderful things that you are doing. But before we dive deep into the different things that we will discuss, I’m interested.
[00:00:23] Can you introduce yourself?
[00:00:27] Richelle Gribble: Sure thing. Uh, yes. So my name is Rachelle Gribble and I’m an artist based in Los Angeles. I’m a bit of what you can call the nomadic artist, where I traveled to back-to-back residencies to explore, planetary connectivity and see how systems and networks interconnect. And this has led me to an interest in space exploration, uh, being able to explore the planet and advocate for it using space to help life on earth, which has made me venture to a couple of my first space,
[00:01:01] Nir Hindi: because I want to discuss all of those things that you mentioned, but before that in the definition on your website, you say, um, expeditionary artists exploring planetary connectivity, both on and off earth.
[00:01:16] Explain what does it mean?
[00:01:18] Richelle Gribble: We’ve actually launched my art to space, a board satellites, a board rockets attached to a lunar Lander and on strata lights. And really I’m interested in sending art out into space because it can really. Allow us to reflect what is our message? What do we represent here on earth?
[00:01:37] And how can we use art to tell our story? And by using space, it kind of allows us to transcend ourselves and really evolve what art can do and where it can exist. And I think that inherently evolves.
[00:01:51] Nir Hindi: So what led you to space? How did you get?
[00:01:54] Richelle Gribble: To that? I mean, it was a very unexpected transition, so I really have always pursued art as a way to explore the world and explore the environment and nature and science. And it was. In this pursuit, uh, coming from like an environmentalist lens that I learned more about, uh, the Earthrise image and how that really kick-started the environmental movement.
[00:02:22] And to me, it really is such a powerful moment when you’re able to see the earth and you see how interconnected it is, uh, that you can better understand your role within it and your place in the, in the cause. And so that naturally led me to explore space as a topic. Another big influence for me is an author, Frank White, who coined the overview effect.
[00:02:46] So he’s interviewed over 45 astronauts about their experience in space flight. And so many of them go up into space. They’re viewing earth from above. And in that moment they realize. That yeah. Borders and boundaries disappear and it’s one living organism. And oftentimes that shift in perspective really ignites astronauts to come back to earth and either start an environmental organization or double down into the arts or training kids to be inspired as space explorers.
[00:03:23] So I think there’s this increasing. Shift, uh, that inspires social and environmental impact upon return home. And so I think if more people could experience that sensation of the overview effect, of course not all of us can travel to space. So I think that’s where art can play its part too, to let people see that, that new perspective and see the world in a new way.
[00:03:47] Nir Hindi: And that’s what you trying to achieve with your own. Absolutely. Yes. So can you give us an example for an artwork that actually transmit these ideas that you are speaking of?
[00:03:58] Richelle Gribble: Absolutely. So one project. That comes to mind was a project that I made when I was inside of the biosphere two. And that’s an enclosure in Arizona. Um, I was doing an artist in residence program there and inside of this enclosure are several different biomes. So you have the desert biome and ocean habitat.
[00:04:20] The mangroves, um, and all of these different systems are linked. And so they are able to sustain the entire environment that’s enclosed. And so back in the day in the early nineties, several Biospherians went and lived in this enclosure to see if humans could survive in a self-contained environment. If our goal is to eventually take that to Mars.
[00:04:43] So it was an interesting experience to be an artist in that space. And. What I really wanted to explore was how linked these different environments are. And what you’ll find is the desert biome, the dust and wind from the deserts actually serves as nutrients for the rain forest. And so they’re all really connected.
[00:05:01] So when thinking, how do I tell this story of planetary connectivity? I ended up making what is an eight foot puzzle that is really large-scale and it contains 91 puzzle pieces, uh, representing different parts of the planet. So they’re all, uh, interdependent and locked together. And I think that that large scale is also important for viewers to see this larger.
[00:05:28] Almost planet like puzzle and are able to identify the different parts of these, these ecosystems to show how interdependent they
[00:05:36] Nir Hindi: are. I love it. So I’m interested to kind of ask you, and that’s something we discussed in the past. What is the role of your art in understanding space?
[00:05:48] Richelle Gribble: I think what’s really. Fascinating. When you look at past, uh, artworks or art objects that have flown to space, they really are elevating kind of the human perspective and our capabilities to venture outward into the cosmos. And I think an important part that’s left out of that story is the biodiversity of the planet looking at.
[00:06:10] All of the different species or web of life, the botanicals, the, um, aquatic life around the world. And so you’ll see if you start to deep dive into my artwork is I’m always looking at these species relationships from the micro to the macro and how linked they are. And I really wanted to bring that story out into space to recognize not only the human perspective, but Earth’s inhabiting.
[00:06:36] And so for many of the projects, you’ll see a lot of representations of our global web of life
[00:06:43] Nir Hindi: so someone might ask, I mean, if you create here on earth, why send it to space who will see it? What is the purpose of sending an outwork on a rocket into space?
[00:06:57] Richelle Gribble: Well, I’ve been asked that question before and my, my response is that oftentimes I’ll create a copy that then is shown around earth. And I think that that tangibility makes it more understandable for people to realize, oh my gosh, this is also on the moon or this is also on space. So oftentimes we’ll exhibit it here. Or if an artwork has flown to space and return, Back to earth.
[00:07:27] It’ll be exhibited with a certificate of flight. We actually have a big project coming up through this artist, collective that I am a part of called beyond earth. And, uh, we’re launching a 16 foot sculpture up into the stratosphere. And so it’s going to be. A six hour flight and then it returns and submerges back into the ocean.
[00:07:49] So we’ll retrieve it from the ocean and then be able to exhibit its remnants and its remains after this flight. But what’s exciting is we’re having GoPros document the entire flight cycle. So. That journey in itself almost becomes the artwork. So I think as you send art to space, what the material is or what the object is itself actually can change.
[00:08:14] And its meaning changes in the material changes based on its journey to space. So because it’s gone there, I think that. Creates new meanings for people and bringing that story home is really
[00:08:28] Nir Hindi: You know, y’all talking and I’m positive that listeners feel the same you were talking and my imagination started to work and I was seeing everything you are talking about.
[00:08:39] What is the role of imagination in understanding our space and our environment?
[00:08:45] Richelle Gribble: Well, that’s, that’s another big reason why I love, uh, space art, because truly you prove to yourself that the sky is not the limit in our creativity is boundless. And I think that as. Each artwork goes up. It starts to just show that art can transcend what we think is even possible.
[00:09:05] And creativity is something that is ever evolving and the further we venture off planet, it means that the further we’re being pushed to think differently and create differently. And I think that that is really fundamental and driving culture and evolving humanity. Yes. Our visions for the future. So I find that to be a very rich yeah, it’s a frontier it’s unknown territory, but it pushes all of us to, to think differently about even how do we define art and creativity?
[00:09:37] Why does it have to just exist on a canvas? Why can’t it be etched on the side panels of saddle? Yeah,
[00:09:44] Nir Hindi: I always say that for me, art is not an object. It’s, it’s a mentality. It’s a way of thinking that the manifestation of it is the different objects that we see.
[00:09:52] But if I were to play devil’s advocate, I would have say, it’s not art that took us to space. It’s engineering took us to space. What will you say about the connections between the two? How do I
[00:10:03] Richelle Gribble: link? Well, it was fascinating. So I recently returned from what’s called the High Seas Sensory Mission, which happen in Hawaii and it’s a Mars simulation.
[00:10:16] So I was there with five other crew mates were all astronauts in training and something that happened there is we were each sharing. How did we get into space? And many of them are scientists and everyone referred to some kind of scifi film or song that inspired them to go into the study of space.
[00:10:38] And I think that that in itself was proof that something is there that art is informing these people to just have these amazing imaginations where they’re inspired to do what’s impossible and, you know, learn astrobiology and, uh, double down into astrophysics. And these, these topics that go beyond. Our scope are possible because they were dreamed up in art artworks and Saifai and projects that pushed the envelope.
[00:11:10] Nir Hindi: I love it. It’s just, you know, it’s kind of listeners on it, you know, how are excited about these topics? And I always say it’s like, we always need the imagination and the execution. And I always see artists that kind of lead with questions and ask us questions that open possibilities and ignite imaginary.
[00:11:30] So, I wonder you were in this, um, and residency and all of them coming from science and probably engineering, et cetera. How did they respond to the fact that suddenly there is an art is what is the space?
[00:11:45] Richelle Gribble: Yeah, I think that it brought about an interesting dimension to our crew. I do feel like, you know, since they had an artist, as part of the crew, that it gave everyone creative permission to show their artistic sides as well.
[00:12:00] So, uh, Medical chief officer was also making music on her synthesizer and our science communication officer would pick up the guitar and play inside the habitat. So it sort of unleashed this creativity in people. And I think that that was something I really wanted to explore by going into this habitat, Mars simulation and see.
[00:12:26] How does art bring together crews? Because crew dynamics is also a big part of space exploration. And as the crew mates would start to see me painting and working on different projects, then they would start to work alongside me. And I think that that was a really amazing part of our crew dynamics is seeing you can unleash this creative potential.
[00:12:50] It’s allowed and if you give it permission,
[00:12:52] Nir Hindi: so interesting kind of, eh not only igniting different conversation and allowing them to see space from a different perspective, but also bringing people together. So you also have in your personal life. A crew member and you are kind of an artist entrepreneur space duo you, in my opinion, expand our imagination and Tim Ellis your partner.
[00:13:18] Expand our reach by 3d printing rockets that goes to space with this company Relativity space. He’s very passionate about out as well. And as your life partners, I think it’s kind of demonstrate the symbiosis between art, science, and entrepreneurship in I’m interested to know what is your common denominator besides space in
[00:13:44] Richelle Gribble: Tim and I, we actually met in college cause both of us were giving TEDx talks to students and he was talking about the future of, of space exploration and 3d printing. And I was talking about networks and the systems that connect our planet. And let’s just say we liked each other’s talks and we’ve been together ever since, but we we’ve always been super interested because.
[00:14:11] We were brought together by this excitement of looking at where art and science collide and for us what those two worlds form together is wonder. And so wonder has become such a fundamental point of, of our lives together. And also with everything that we create around us is we just read. If we’re on this earth, this one time, let’s get the most out of it.
[00:14:37] And ignite wonder around us, because I think wonder is such a powerful place to inspire and also to bring you into presence and connect you with the world around you and make you feel part of something bigger than yourself. And that is such a rewarding place to exist. And I mean, wonder is even engraved in my, my wedding ring.
[00:14:59] It’s so much a part of our lives together. And it gives meaning to the, to each of our work, uh, every day.
[00:15:07] And I took your advice and obviously I spoke with a Tim Ellis and I was asking him, how does it feel to see space from the perspective of an artist artist and how your work inspires him. Let’s see what he had to say.
[00:15:23] Tim Ellis: Well, I think first it’s super interesting cause we’ve, we’ve talked a lot about it. So Richelle Gribbels has done her journey in space, like in a pretty different world than me actually.
[00:15:33] And for me, I mean, just watching that journey has been really inspiring because in many ways, I think for my work at relativity space, You know, not only are we building a company, but we’re also building towards this mission of putting humanity on Mars. And I think like the reason that’s important to me is it’s about expanding the possibilities for human experience.
[00:15:53] In many ways, I think going to Mars for me is actually one of the greatest art projects of and that’s not to trivialize. Is, it just gets to what it means to be human.
[00:16:08] Like what are we actually living and dying and building and breathing in generation after generation? Like, what is it all about? And I think art is physical manifestation of that questioning, um, and, and have that drive and have that plane around. You know, different kind of tensions and societal context and wonder and awe and like what is evolving in front of us.
[00:16:31] And so I do think going to Mars in many ways, there’s an expansion of that landscape and will, will actually help us create new art and new experience.
[00:16:40] Like for me, it just contextualizes the why I’m doing this and why it actually matters because despite engineering being extremely creative, I think in many ways, art, to some extent in and of itself, it’s even more of a pure expression of just the message that matters
[00:16:59] Like our rocket engines still have a function. There’s still like something it’s doing. But I think in her case. Just seeing the message evolve and really asking the questions, like, why go to space? Why save the environment?
[00:17:13] Like why, why does that actually matter? And I think it just, yeah, it helps me answer a lot of questions around like, what is the vision of humanity? And I think. At the core of it for me, when, when I see her work, that’s like the question that we’re both trying to ask. It’s like, what is this actually all about?
[00:17:31] And how do we guide the future of humanity and in a direction that’s actually sustainable and going to create a better future than the one we’re inheriting. Because I think we do live in a time where that is not a certainty and that’s not been true of all of human history in the past.
[00:17:47] Nir Hindi: That’s what I’m interested now to ask you the opposite question. How the life with Tim, as an entrepreneur that actively lunch rockets to space influence your. And you’ll own.
[00:18:01] Richelle Gribble: Oh, that’s an amazing question. I mean, it was incredible the first time that I went with Tim to visit his rocket project at rocket lab at USC.
[00:18:13] And I remember seeing just the steel metal of, of all of the rocket parts and how intricately designed they were. And they. Just really had such complexity and imagination. And I kept asking him like, how are you envisioning this piece flying to space? And how do all those small holes connect a propellant that enabled this thing to lift off.
[00:18:36] And to me, I was just so enthralled by the materiality of these objects and that. He was able to place such meaning and imagination into these objects that they could actually launch into space and potentially carry passengers into space. And you know, of course, and then I’m thinking, oh, and, and art to right to cure that up there too.
[00:19:03] Nir Hindi: You know that in our conversation, I try to get a commitment from him to start an artist in residence. After you worked in the company.
[00:19:11] Richelle Gribble: Wonderful. Wonderful employees just call me the resident artists that relativity so out, I’ll take it.
[00:19:20] Nir Hindi: You launch the project. Now we need to kind of continue. I already asked the Tim Ellis to do it.
[00:19:26] Richelle Gribble: Awesome. Awesome. Excellent. Yeah. I, I just think, um, I mean, every time I walk into relativity space now, it’s just absolutely incredible to see. What can be formed when so many people come together around a vision. And honestly, every single week I walk in there it’s changed. It’s evolved, something’s different.
[00:19:50] They have a new part and the energy of that space is just buzzing. And what’s so incredible is I got to be with. To this entire process of when it started as a seed of an idea, and now is a full fledged operating beautiful space that is surrounded by brilliant people from so many different backgrounds.
[00:20:13] And yeah, I mean, it shows the power of an idea, the power of wonder to, to uplift and inspire people to do something that they think is impossible. And he’s proven that something that he can give to the world. And I think we need more.
[00:20:28] Nir Hindi: So, I
[00:20:29] wonder when you created out for relativity space, um, what you had in mind, what did you try to transmit? Because you created a large painting that at least I saw proudly other things, but this is the one that I. Yeah, so, and we will make sure to share it there on the show notes. Oh,
[00:20:48] absolutely. Uh, yes. So that was actually, um, one of the largest paintings I’ve made yet, which is eight feet by 18 feet. And it’s entitled overview, so inspired by that overview concept and.
[00:21:03] To me, it was so fitting for the relativity environment, because what it’s showing is this evolution from the organic world to our social networks and connections all the way over to space exploration. So you’ll see these satellites kind of branching out of, um, migrations of animals. And then you’ll see these really.
[00:21:28] Textured areas where it almost looks like molecules and particles. And I think that bringing that story into relativity was so important because. They do a lot of 3d printing, which is a very organic process. And it, it almost looks like it’s something blooming from the earth, or it’s like a slime mold pattern growing into to these plants or these larger forms, which then become these beautiful, uh, elegant structures and rockets.
[00:21:57] And so Tim and I we’ve always thought that it was important to bring that story of earth and. Our origins and have that inform why we need to go to space. And also, so keeping that in mind that our space exploration is also always coming back to, to feed our planet and support the world we have here. So I hope, you know, in my mind, anytime I walked into relativity, I hope that it helps ground some of the, uh, the employees so they can realize, oh, we’re going to space because we’re going to make things better here too.
[00:22:33] Richelle Gribble: So kind of materializing or giving, given an image to a vision, maybe in a way and a mission. We said, let’s take a short break and then we’ll go.
[00:22:51] Nir Hindi: Rochelle. I have, I have a question. You spoke about it and you mentioned it and your website tagline says everything is connected. What do you mean when you say everything is connected and you started to speak about. The earth, but I’m interesting from a human perspective, because as human, we tend to segregate everything.
[00:23:11] You are engineered. I’m an artist. You are from this country, I’m from this country and But I think everything connected kind of expanded.
[00:23:20] Richelle Gribble: Yeah, that’s something I discovered in my art practice and it was kind of this Eureka moment when I looked at all of the artworks I’ve ever made and I stepped back and was like, what is the common thread between all of these things?
[00:23:32] And I realized that whether I was painting the rivers and deltas of an aerial view perspective, or a crowd of people. Each one was a different network and each one affected the other. And I think that, that was a moment for me when I was like, oh my goodness, everything I’ve ever made is some kind of system or connective thread that affects other systems.
[00:23:57] And that really inspired me to think about connectivity in a new way. And yeah. Kind of, it shifted the way that I viewed the world around me, because I’m always looking at how things are linked, even if you don’t expect it to be so. For example, I’ll have these drawings that are really large scale and you’ll see part of dolphins next to a freeway.
[00:24:22] And oftentimes you don’t see those things together, but it’s actually the freeway runoff. That’s affecting some of the Marine ecosystems. So I like to show the things that people don’t often see together. Colliding, because we have to start to remember that these disparate elements are actually linked.
[00:24:41] And I think that translates over to people in the way that I see scientists and artists is not being too different. Why are we separating the two? And of course, like, I love doing these artists and residents program. At startups and rocket companies, because you can always find some sort of overlap, even though I’m coming from a completely different background.
[00:25:03] And I think it’s those synergies finding those connections that really become really rich places to explore and also ignite collaborations. And, you know, if we’re going to be tackling some of the most daunting global challenges of our time, the only way we’re getting through that is through these collaborations.
[00:25:22] So if we’re not willing to connect, I think it’s going to be impossible to actually affect these challenges.
[00:25:27] Nir Hindi: Totally. And so, you know, I have a question because you explore in research networks and systems, was there a network or a system that through your artwork, you discovered that surprise you.
[00:25:39] Richelle Gribble: Interesting. I think I honestly, one of the networks that really took my breath away was looking at social networks because I don’t know if, if people have done this, some of your listeners, but there are ways to actually map your social media friends. And what ends up happening is you get these beautiful, like radioclouds of faces with all these mixed lines and it looks almost like, you know, the close-up of a dandy lion and at the time it was just amazing to see what is an invisible structure. I mean, none of us know exactly what it looks like to be connected to a bunch of people, but to see that. Visualized was really beautiful because it looked so much like these other familiar systems in nature.
[00:26:30] And at the time I was just looking at patterns. But what I learned is that’s actually a category of science called graph theory, where it’s defining what’s called the radial network. That at the time was just so fascinating to me because I was talking to scientists and they were like, oh, you’re identifying these radial networks as well as tree-like networks, which are different types of cities.
[00:26:54] I was just like, oh, I just noticed that, you know, the veins in my wrist actually look like small trees and these, uh, clouds of my Facebook friends look like the top of a dandy line. And they were like, exactly, that’s science now. It’s like, no, but that was something I was exploring. I think the beautiful part of that discovery was realizing that humans are part of our web of life.
[00:27:20] We’re not separate from it. We’re engraved and embedded in nature. And realizing that I think is a really beautiful place to operate from. And in terms of thinking. How can we affect the world and how are we a part of the world? You can see humanity is actually a seed of nature. And I think that’s really beautiful to work from.
[00:27:42] Nir Hindi: Yeah. So, so nice, like scientific method applied to social structure through art.
[00:27:51] So, you know, I have a question over here. We haven’t discussed yet, but I really want to take care to hear your opinion, because we often hear about climate crisis and we often hear what happens when humans are not in nature, that actually nature is able to recover.
[00:28:11] So in for me, you are an optimistic in a way on our. Over here. And I wonder how do you see it? What will be the message from you to our fellow human? When it comes to making this place a better place, even though you are exploring other places outside of.
[00:28:31] Richelle Gribble: It’s remembering that we’re a single strand of the web of life and that we don’t dominate it.
[00:28:38] And I think when you start to see yourself as being a part of something, then you’re able to realize how. That connection point is a string to so many other parts of our planet. And, you know, oftentimes you’ll hear about this notion of the ripple effect. How do you have ripples of impact across the things that you’re connected to?
[00:29:02] And, you know, you could take that perfect example of a spider sitting on a spider’s web. If the spider moves, it starts to have. Uh, trembling effect across the web. And I want people to just start to picture these connections and see themselves as almost like this threaded system around the world. And you can either, you know, make really turbulent negative impacts around you that affect everything in its wake, or you can start to really have these positive changes.
[00:29:36] Threading throughout the world and with the internet and with global travel, we are a global society now. I mean, the pandemic itself is a perfect example of how globally connected we are. No one exists in isolation. So if we can remember those connections, even if we can’t see them exactly, I can’t tell how.
[00:30:01] Sitting in this room and affecting a rainforest. But if I can start to do the learning and realize that the Palm oil that’s in my cereal actually took out that a ring, a Tang’s home, then I’m going to start to be able to be more conscious about how I’m affecting everything else. And I think it’s that shift in perspective that can enable people to more consciously live their lives and feel more connected to the world around them.
[00:30:28] Nir Hindi: Yeah,
[00:30:29] no, I mean, you know, I’m talking to you and then I recalling one of the conversation I had with the Lauren Mccarthy, and she spoke about Alexa I now, even though I have Alex over here, I’m much more aware of it. So I think that after the conversation with you now, I would think very well about my cereal and what I eat
[00:30:45] so I want to ask you about the nomadic artists project. What is this project? What did you do there? It’s I think it’s a fascinating.
[00:30:55] Richelle Gribble: Yeah. So it was a project that started about six years ago. And at the time I didn’t really realize what I was getting myself into, but I did my first artist in residence program.
[00:31:11] And. Realized how incredible it was to be entirely immersed in a new environment. And I think that traveling there kind of heightened my senses to what was around me. And I started to see things that other people might miss as, you know, being a tourist or a traveler in a new environment. And. Then I made a lot of artwork about that experience in this new place.
[00:31:36] And that to me, started to, to kind of kickstart this idea of why not use my art as my passport to gain access to these different artists and residents programs around the world and traveled to the. And far reaching environments to reflect the local community and the environment of each place. And this journey just took off.
[00:32:00] I was going to artists and residents programs back to back. Sometimes I would come home for a night and, you know, remove one suitcase that was full of art supplies from Vermont, and then pack it with a whole new collection of. Projects that I was taking to Japan and then I’d come home offload and then go to the Arctic circle.
[00:32:21] So it’s brought me to these incredible places and integrated me into these beautiful communities. And I think that it’s really awakened what I hope will become a lifelong journey, uh, traveling the world to explore how interconnected it is firsthand. And oftentimes people will ask me, well, why do you have to actually go on a sailboat, stand on a glacier in the Arctic circle and see a polar bear to make art about it.
[00:32:51] Why can’t you do that from Los Angeles? And to me, I think it’s a really great question. I get asked it quite often, but to me, I think as an artist, you can translate an experience. Firsthand so that other people can use the, your artwork is like a map to that place. I love how performance philosopher, Jason Silva.
[00:33:14] He always says that our songs are poems are stories, they’re maps from where we went. And if I can go to these extreme environments that oftentimes need our attention most and make artwork about it so people can be transported there with me. I think that that becomes a real. Powerful place to tell the story of these locations.
[00:33:37] It’s not just about creating documentation or photo journaling about these destinations, but trying to bring that emotion and that sensation and the things that people would otherwise miss. And take that story
[00:33:54] Nir Hindi: to till today, you did, how many.
[00:33:56] Richelle Gribble: I’ve done 18 and now I’ve explored the space analogs. So that’s becoming another part of my nomadic journey.
[00:34:04] Uh, so I have one coming up called linaris, which is in Poland and that’s a lunar mission, uh, with a small crew and you’re inside of an enclosure. So. I start to explore. What, what is it like to make art on the moon and what types of projects need to exist?
[00:34:21] Nir Hindi: So, wait, I have another question about the nomadic this project.
[00:34:24] What are the two, three places that were super unique from, for you as an experience? Because you did in very, very. Oh man. Places, which by the way, it’s so interesting that they even have all of these things.
[00:34:38] Richelle Gribble: Yes. I always tell artists, I’m like, you need to look into residencies cause you’ll be able to find a residency that fits any kind of niche interests that you have because there are so many that exist around the world.
[00:34:51] But of course, I mean, I started to mention this one, but the residency called the Arctic circle residency, uh, is with 20 artists and scientists. And you’re on a sailboat venturing through, uh, what’s close to the north pole. I think it’s the closest you can get to the north pole on a ship and we would, uh, dock the ship hop on small Zodiac.
[00:35:15] And I go up to the shore and make artwork on the shore for about three hours at a time before we couldn’t feel our fingertips and then get back onto the ship. So it was a really incredible way of making art inspired by the location and a perfect example of what I discovered up there that I otherwise would have missed is the.
[00:35:37] Sound of a melting glaciers and Coleen glaciers and ice in the water. Uh it’s it’s this incredible, like, it almost sounds like Perrier where it’s all of these thousands and thousands of bubbles popping because all of the air that’s trapped in the ice is being removed the surface and it was insane.
[00:36:00] You’re in the middle of the ocean and you’re just hearing. Miles of popping ice. And that’s something that if I was just sitting in my studio in LA painting a glacier, I would have no idea that that’s what they sound like. And that’s what really becomes the soundtrack of being up there. So that’s one of the details.
[00:36:22] A couple other residencies that really took my breath away was a residency in Japan, where I worked in a traditional Japanese paper mill and learned a technique that’s 300 years old of, um, working with the local environment to collect Kozo fibers and natural materials, uh, that is then impounded into paper.
[00:36:44] So. Giant paintings of the landscape. I use satellite imagery to make these let’s just screen, uh, landscapes of that area, where we were. So my idea there was to paint the land made from the land and really show people those connections.
[00:37:02] Nir Hindi: Amazing. It’s like, you know what? I suddenly, I want to travel to our distilling residencies.
[00:37:08] I know they need entrepreneurs and residents or some kind of program.
[00:37:14] Beautiful. a topic that I have to discuss with you, which is you are training to become an astronaut. What does it mean when you say an artist that is training that we come in and start out? Can you tell me about what are you trying to do?
[00:37:31] Richelle Gribble: I find that the capstone of the nomadic artist’s journey is to see earth from above. I think that is the ultimate perspective to tell the story of planetary connectivity. And if I can translate that sensation and that newfound view through. Immersive large-scale artworks that can transport people to space.
[00:37:53] Then I think I’ve done my job. So I’ve been experiencing the space analogs, uh, to undergo some astronaut training. So. Part of the analogs is you’re given a crew title. So I was vice commander of the high seas mission and a creative specialist. So I got to oversee the crew dynamics, which you know, on these basements bins, they keep you quite busy.
[00:38:18] You’re managing your inventory, your learning, how to cook with all dehydrated foods and Ingrid. You put on a space suit. Anytime you go outside on it on what’s called an EBA. You learn to build projects and work in a space suit, which is quite difficult and managing your oxygen supply system. So these types of hurdles are really interesting to experience firsthand and.
[00:38:47] That’s really kick-started this interest of, oh my gosh. You know, in my lifetime with space becoming more accessible. And of course I have this lens also with Tim building this rocket company of just how much of a part of our future, this is going to be. And so eventually. We’re going to have citizen astronauts go to space.
[00:39:08] Eventually there will be an artist in space. I want to do all of the proper training and advance. So when that moment happens, sign me up. I’m ready to go. So I’ve talked to. Several astronauts about their experience in space flight. And oftentimes they say that the training, you do a lot of wilderness training.
[00:39:28] You go into Arctic environments, you go into extreme environments, you work in small enclosures, and I realized that I’ve already done.
[00:39:41] It’s crazy. I didn’t realize my nomadic artist’s journey was actually kind of like astronaut training. So I’m, I’m doing some of the other certifications. I just got my scuba license and I mean, that has been one of the most remarkable sensations I did my first night dive, where we go under water. We turn off our flashlights and you know, I’m 50 feet underwater with my air supply system and I start to move my hands and I’m in.
[00:40:10] Galaxies of bioluminescence. And it was just such a surreal moment for me because I’m weightless and I’m seeing this vast ecosystem just come to life and it really felt like the. Feeling I could get to space and, and I, yeah, it’s, it’s remarkable to realize that you can explore space just by jumping in the water.
[00:40:36] And I’m seeing these interesting parallels between the astronaut experience and the aquanaut experience. And I just really want to. Deep dive into that sensation and yeah. And help that inform some art projects about our planet and about the cosmos through immersive experience. You
[00:40:57] Nir Hindi: also got a human facto in space, settlements, difficult.
[00:41:01] Yes. Does it mean I always imagining you entering through the class, they never want to say, what do you do for that? I’m an artist. What are you doing?
[00:41:10] Richelle Gribble: Yes. So I’ve been working with the Kepler space Institute, uh, getting a master certificate and it’s been so remarkable to be connecting with so many different people in the space community.
[00:41:23] Everyone’s arrived there from a different path and some come from the sciences, but what’s so fascinating is there’s this rise of interest in the space community coming from space food. So we have people trying to figure out how do you develop food in space with aquaponic systems? And, you know, if we want to sustain our, our life and be able to create fresh produce off planet, what are those things that are needed?
[00:41:50] So we’ve got. This like culinary arts and spaces becoming part of the conversations as well as, um, yeah. Looking at how do we, what does space ethics? What about philosophy and space? How who’s going to make those rules? What’s the space treaty, uh, looking at. You know, all factors of our life off the planet.
[00:42:11] And so often when we think about space exploration, we focus on the technology side. And I think that that’s a beautiful component. I see it firsthand with Tim at relativity. Uh, but what happens when we get up. These are human people existing off planet and working in these crews. And oftentimes what’s actually been one of the largest issues with, uh, the space exploration trips, our crew dynamics.
[00:42:39] So it’s our humanity that actually becomes the complexities and space. And so I think if we really. Explore all parts of ourselves using space at this platform, we become, you know, really aware of, of who we are. And that that’s such an important knowledge to have both honor and Oscars. You know,
[00:43:02] Nir Hindi: I always say that it’s humans that take us to space, not technology technology is just the means.
[00:43:07] So I’m totally resonates with me. What you just said, Richelle, we are getting into the end of that. Wonderful conversation. And we didn’t even start to speak about what you do with the supercollider and the beyond earth. And there are so many things that you are doing, but I have one last question. What is your vision for space art?
[00:43:28] Are you going to open the next day at school for space out?
[00:43:34] Richelle Gribble: I think space art can change the world. I think what it pushes us to do just as you look back at the Apollo mission, which, you know, changed the world’s perspective of what humans are possible or capable of. I think that. Space art can include a lot more people in the journey and push us to think beyond what we think were, were is possible for us.
[00:44:00] And to me, I find that to be such a rich platform and it’s something that’s so needed right now, because I feel like we need this reinvigoration and sensation of feeling like we can actually get things back on track here in the world. Like we’re not just going to. Be daunted by these environmental and social challenges to the point of our demise.
[00:44:22] But we’re going to think our way through this, we’re going to act collaboratively and innovate and think about these solutions and build a future worth striving for, and I think if we have these examples of. Artworks and projects that can expand our mind and show us a new future. Then we have something to work from.
[00:44:46] And oftentimes, yes. I mean, we, we didn’t know that we would eventually communicate on screens. If the scifi movies didn’t exist, where we, we didn’t know that we could fly on these machines up into space. So if we didn’t have these comic books, so. Artists are really instrumental in kind of laying the groundwork for what could be.
[00:45:11] And I think that we need a lot more of that vision right now. So we have motivation to take action to do. Towards that goal.
[00:45:20] Nir Hindi: I think there is no better message to end this conversation. Rochelle grip, and you are such an inspiration, and I’m so grateful for you taking the time and seeing UN team and speaking with both of you.
[00:45:33] I know we can be on the right track out of these 10 engineer entrepreneurial wonderful Michelle. Thank you very, very, very, very much. Thank you.
[00:45:43] Richelle Gribble: This was so
[00:45:43] Nir Hindi: fun. Have a wonderful day in the lane. Can’t wait to hear about your next adventures and for our listeners, make sure to check the show notes.
[00:45:53] Everything Rochelle mentioned will be there from her project to her website, to her, hopefully a future flight to space. Michelle. Thanks for.