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Magnet Minds: An Interview with Art Astronaut, Richelle Gribble

Richelle Gribble at NASA Kennedy Space Center preparing a large-scale art + space installation to fly into the stratosphere in Spring 2021.

MAGNETIC MINDS is a new series spotlighting creative change-makers on the bleeding edge of paradigm-shifting perspectives and innovative industries.

Our esteemed guest this Women's History Month is Richelle Gribble – an art astronaut and systems artist shaping the future for humanity in space and its impact on our ever-evolving and interdependent world. 


RICHELLE GRIBBLE is a multidisciplinary artist exploring planetary connectivity, both on and off Earth. Her work examines the nature of networks and systems-based investigations to reflect on the ways that human impact, technology, and environment interact and evolve. 


She is the Founding Director of SUPERCOLLIDER, an art + sci + tech exhibition platform and satellite initiative and co-founder of Beyond Earth, an artist collective exploring frontiers of art and space. 


Using art as a passport to new worlds, Richelle has launched her art and built installations for outer space on a half-dozen rockets and satellites, collaborating with innovative space companies and scientists to elevate art to new heights and quite frankly, go where no woman has ever gone before. 

Having traveled near the North Pole, made art under the ocean, lived in a simulated Mars environment, Richelle Gribble continues to fuse scientific expeditions with artistic creation that illuminate a sense a wonder and provide space for us to ponder the deeper meaning of what it means to be human in our rapidly-changing world. 


MM: It's so exciting to be showcasing your groundbreaking work with this new series. I love how your art is very intentional about making people aware – that changing our perspective holds the key for us to unlock our capacity to connect & change our worldview. And that in togetherness will we need the strength to change the world. 


As an artist, how do you communicate your vision for the future? 


RG: My role as an artist is to expand perspective, and more specifically on global connectivity. To do so, I embark on expeditions to observe from various vantage points (micro to macro scales) – expanding from Earth-to-space.

I believe that in order to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues of our time, it is crucial to build a global perspective to incite collaborative action. 

My intentions are twofold: first, I want to shift people’s perspective to harness the Overview Effect, a broadened worldview to get a better understanding of one’s role and social/environmental responsibility on a connected planet; and secondly, to show that the sky is not the limit and our creativity is boundless.


Much like the Overview Effect, seeing the world from a different perspective ignites newfound awe and commitment. I want to share this sensation, from the ground to the skies, to let us all marvel at our home planet and how interconnected we really are. 


I dive deep into the systems that connect the planet, which ultimately led me to science. Working with industry experts in diverse fields including ecology, aerospace, biotech, and activism gives meaning to these networks. Within these topics, I find that there are incredible opportunities when creating overlap across topics, linking ideas and people.


I explore the intersections themselves: the networks. As an artist, I have a unique position to move between disciplines, indulging in my nomadic practice, to find new ways to interpret and share scientific discoveries.