Always Calling Home

Open Night on 8 December 2018
“Always Calling Home”


Members of the public are welcome to an Open Night at the SAAO in Cape Town on 8 December 2018, starting at 20h00. Vanessa Lorenzo (SAAO/Zurich University of the Arts) will present a talk titled Always Calling Home. This will be followed by a tour of the site and (weather permitting) star gazing.

Summary of the talk

Vanessa Lorenzo is currently based at SAAO as part of a South African-Swiss exchange and Artists-in-labs residency, Vanessa’s research focuses on the potentials of scientific instruments to unveil the invisible traces of rocks wandering over the Earth. Asteroids, meteorites and comets are eternal matter scattered around us. Rare minerals, gas, and rocks that existed within and outside the original body, from which they got expelled, then coagulated together, to be extracted or expelled again. Roaming the void they are seeking home, reflecting beams of light and fluctuating within a range of frequencies in and out of the visible spectrum. Sentinels secure their positions to capture patterns, meaning-making out of waffled memories and ultimately enabling droning dialogues of the yet-to-come. What kind of memories of the past-futures would they bring?

During the presentation, micro-performance and installation, Vanessa Lorenzo will explain her fieldwork, theoretical research and making process thanks to a fruitful collaboration with Dr. Nicholas Erasmus along the invaluable support of Dr. Daniel Cunnama, the SAAO Engineering Department, OAD and the astronomers at SALT and 1.9 at the facilities of SAAO in Sutherland.


Vanessa Lorenzo is an independent researcher, artist and designer working at the crossroads of media design, art and science. Trained as a product design engineer and media designer, I create fictional scenarios embedding people, living organisms and/or matter into devices forming new media ecologies. Also, she nourishes (from) and believes (in) the middle-ground (communities of hackers/artists/citizens working in alternative spaces) to have the power to subvert the dominating role of traditional science and technology spheres and therefore, guide us towards a more inclusive knowledge production. Her research about the role of a media to influence the social imaginary through workshops and interfaces that focus on the radical poetry of the nonhuman.


The Open Night will take place at the SAAO in Cape Town. The SAAO is located off Liesbeeck Parkway, next to the River Club.


Gates open at 19h30 and parking is available on site.

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