Space Messengers

Space Messengers is a mixed reality installation and youth workshop that is part of the BioSTEAM International youth exchange program in partnership with the U.S Embassy of Portugal and the U.S. Consulate General of Guadalajara.  This virtual collaboration connects middle/high school classrooms in New Mexico, USA with classrooms in Lisbon, Portugal and Guadalajara, Mexico through a shared sci-art installation that will tour around the world.

This interactive installation allows us to generate and project text messages collected from participating students and the live audience. Students co-write messages communicating the science they learned from scientists in the workshop. Students become STEAM Ambassadors sharing their thoughts and wishes for a sustainable interplanetary future. The messages are projected along with video-captured silhouettes animated using Tagtool earth/space imagery contributions from students. The audience can visit this website page during the event for a live stream of the projection and to see all the students messages scrolling on their device. The festival audience can also send their own messages through the website and they will appear in the scroll and on the building in real time. Through this mixed reality experience participants on site or at home where ever they are become part of the installation in real time, radiating their space messages out to the world!


Projecting Particles Collective

Agnes Chavez and Markus Dorninger are the lead artists of the Space Messengers installation which is the lastest iteration of the Projecting Particles Collective. Click on View the Team below to read their bios and learn about all the artists and scientists that are collaborating on the Space Messengers project.


skills applied

  • Astrophysics
  • Particle Physics
  • Space Science
  • Projection Mapping
  • Digital Creation Tools


"We are living in a time that urgently needs you, our youth leaders, to forge a new path as informed citizens on this planet but also as part of our newly discovered interplanetary universe! By participating in the Space Messengers project you will learn about the latest discoveries in space science, and why our relationship to nature and each other is an important part of protecting biodiversity. You will help create this interactive installation as part of an international team of students, artists and scientists.  The final installation will travel to festivals delivering your space messages out to the world."  Agnes Chavez

  • The New Tagtool
    The Fabric of the Cosmos: What is Space?
    CERN in 3 minutes
    The Origins we Share: Havana Biennial 
    The Tagtool Crew at Arts Electronica Festival 2017
  • The Night is our Canvas 
    Mobile Storytelling
    (x)trees algorithm
    Origination Point Installation: Harwood MuseumTaos
    Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics: Converging Worldviews
  • (I=)UNIVERSE: An intercultural sci-art exploration of the universe

The final installation will be projected on to the courtyard walls of the Palais do Marques de Pombal in Oeiras, Portugal. We will do a live mix projection using the Tagtool app. Video captures of student silhouettes filled with earth/space animations created with Tagtool are projected on to the walls creating an immersive experience. All the walls are filled with an animated sequence of our students from around the world along with their messages to create a universe of thoughts and wishes for a sustainable future.

Students participating in the Space Messengers workshops use the 'Space Board', our custom data sharing platform created by Roy MacDonald, that allows students to co-write their space messages with their peers in partner countries during the workshops. These messages are automatically integrated into the code that is projected on to the courtyard walls in the final installation as generative messages appearing in animated sequences.  The audience can also interact by sending their own SMS or WhatsApp messages from their devices or from our website. The messages appear in real time in the projection and scrolling on the website.

We are collaborating with sound engineer, David Novak and his students from Lusofona University in Lisbon, Portugal. He will be using the NASA sounds from space and nature sounds combined with recordings of student voices calling out the key words from the space messages. The music will create an immersive soundscape that fills the courtyard.

The participating students are our youth leaders. Their body silhouettes are captured using interactive sensors, designed and installed at the projection site by Markus Dorninger and the OMAi team. Students take turns acting out a movement inspired by the space messages. These video animations are then projected for the event. During the live event the public is also invited to interact with the silhouettes to get glimpses of video captures from the workshops and learn about the science and art behind the installation.

The Space Messengers installation will travel to festivals in cities that are hosting the BioSTEAM International youth workshop. To create an opportunity for students not living in the host city to experience the installation, we created a Virtual Reality platform designed by Mathieu Castel. We will be livetreaming the Space Messengers projection into the VR platform and will host a VR station for public viewing at the Harwood Museum in Taos, New Mexico and at the FICA festival in the courtyard. 

The Space Messengers website will be transformed into a live event where anyone can see the scrolling workshop space messages as well as the real time messages being sent. Participants can send their own space messages sharing their thoughts and wishes for a sustainable interplanetary future.

The Space Messengers project is made possible in part by the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund for U.S. Alumni; an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Partners of the Americas. Thanks also to our sponsors at the U.S. Embassy of Portugal, Consulate General of Guadalajara, Taos Community Foundation, and the MAE Foundation.