The observatory project is a collaborative project which is seeking to observe and engage with the ways in which scientists and artists operate. The project explores and expands the idea of the observatory as a site that contextualises perceptions. We see parallels between the sites of galleries and observatories in the way that they negotiate their relationship to the outside world. The structure of our project is a research cluster of observatories with the aim to create dialogue around the processes and motivations shared between artists and scientists. We are interested in the act of observation and the process of looking. The possibility of an expanded observatory allows us to explore the systems and processes of observation as they occur in everyday life.
One of the main artistic aims of the observatory project is the creation of new observatories as a framework that allows artists and scientists to explore the language of the observatory outside of the context of scientific empiricism. In doing so artists and scientists in the project are placed in a context where the possibility emerges of relating to each other and their disciplines in new ways. We are interested in the observatory as a way of re-contextualising the relationships between artworks and scientific experiments and the sites in which they occur. The observatory project seeks to associate itself with a number of observatories that already exist, and/or are created specifically for the project. In this way, scientific and artistic paradigms are reframed under the banner of the observatory. Examples of the types of expanded observatory associated to the observatory project include optical, conversational, temporary, non-physical/web-based, radio, site-specific, field research based, subjective, and social etc. These new observatory frameworks will occur in and around traditional observatory and public gallery spaces as well as online and in relation to specific sites.