Space Messengers

Space Messengers is a multi-artist immersive and interactive projection installation with MR (Mixed Reality) experiences that bridge real and virtual worlds. Space Messengers visualizes data by generating messages collected from a custom platform that we call the Space Board.  Text and voice messages collected from participating students, scientists, and interdisciplinary experts float on the wall alongside interactive body silhouettes. Live audiences can send messages in real-time, contributing to a global database of 'space messages'.

An immersive soundscape has been created integrating NASA space sounds and nature sounds. Space Messengers travels to festivals around the world carrying the space messages of participating youth from each venue.

Educators can jump to the Space Messengers Teacher Tools to integrate the project into their classrooms. If you are an artist or scientist that would like to join the team or collaborate in any way please reach out:


Creative Team

The creative team for Space Messengers started in 2013 by Agnes Chavez as the Creative Director, Markus Dorninger/OMAi team as lead projection artists and Dr. Steven Goldfarb, particle physicist from CERN under the title of Projecting Particles Collective. Since then it has grown to include the members you see in the Creative Team. Go there to read their bios and learn about all the artists and scientists that are collaborating on the Space Messengers project.


Creative Team

skills applied

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


"We are living in a time that urgently needs you, our youth and community leaders, to forge a new path as creative and informed planetary citizens. By participating in the Space Messengers project you will learn about the universe through the lens of particle physics, astrophysics, native science, philosophy, space science, technology and futures thinking. We explore our relationship to the universe and the ways we can use this knowledge to address humanitarian and ecological challenges. You will help create this interactive installation as part of an international team of students, artists and scientists and become Ambassadors at the festivals where Space Messengers will travel 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

Interactive Projection Wall

The interactive projection wall is the main attraction of the Space Messengers installation, (appx 40-60'w x 9-10'h) with two interactive zones; the Interactive Silhouettes and the Real Time Messaging. An immersive soundscape fills the projection site with a custom soundscape designed with space sounds from the NASA library, as well as nature sounds.

Interactive Silhouettes. As people approach the projection, a sensor mimics their silhouette movements which are seen projected onto the building as points of light. As they come closer, the participant triggers the sensor which zooms into one of the data points, representing one of hundreds of video clips from our workshops exploring the universe through the lens of the students, artists, scientists and cultural experts. These 30-second video clips include highlights from the scientist presentations which serve to inspire and inform the audience on topics such as gravitational waves, dark matter and the big bang, as well as future imaginings from students. They provide a glimpse into the Space Messengers workshop and curriculum. Our hope is that the audience can walk away with an increased appreciation for how science is expanding our understanding of the universe and how space exploration is helping to improve life on earth. STEMarts Ambassadors are trained on all aspects of the installation in order to participate as Experience Guides on site to explain the project and show the public how to interact with the silhouettes.

Space Messages: Data visualization in motion. The heart of the interactive projection wall are the ‘space messages’ that are seen floating up on the wall alongside the interactive body silhouettes. They are both archived and real time messages and communicate the science being explored and the reflections and future imaginings from workshop participants as well as the live audience. Their messages become part of the global database as the Space Messengers travels the world collecting the voices of our youth. The archived messages are collected from the Space Board, a custom-designed platform that allows participating students, scientists and teachers to cowrite messages communicating the science and sharing their thoughts and wishes for a sustainable interplanetary future. The real-time messages are those that the audience can send using the Space Messengers WhatsApp number which is shared on the projection wall and as a QR code.  They can ask questions about the universe and we have scientists online monitoring this thread and answering any science questions in real time. The answers appear in reply threads attached to the questions. Audience members experience wonder as their space message appears instantly in the projection. Youth Ambassadors help the participants to send their SMS messages to the wall.

Space Messengers Social VR Space

Space Messengers Social VR. One of the VR experiences is our custom-built Space Messengers world. We create a 3D model of the building on to which we are projecting for each event. We then import the building model into the Space Messengers virtual platform and present a recording of the projection on to the virtual wall to create a virtual simulation of the physical projection. This creates a virtual meeting place for students and the live audience to enter and interact with participants joining from around the world.

Avatar Scientist Station

This interactive station bridges the real and virtual worlds to create a lively human interaction. An astrophysicist is beamed in from their home location and appears as an avatar on our large scale projection screen. Audience members come up to a ring light and webcam in front of the projection screen and ask them a question about the universe. The astrophysicist can see and interact with the audience member in the physical space at the event. A sound system broadcasts the conversation so spectators can experience the exchange. Participants are always surprised to find out its a real person and not just a cartoon character or AI robot and have fun having a deep conversation about dark matter with an Avatar. This popular station has been highly successful at encouraging participants to ask questions about the universe that they always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. We recruit scientists from around the world, and focus on local scientists to participate as avatars from the region where the festival is taking place. STEMarts Youth Ambassadors set up and run the Avatar tech station which includes working with Discord, OBS, Zoom and projectors, and facilitate the exchange between the Avatar scientist and the participants at the event.

Space Messengers 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. This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts

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