Photo: ‘Space Stripes’. A special project by Super/Collider launched at Pattern Power 2013

Space Stripes

A Short Film and Q&A by Chris Hatherill

Pattern Power is the biannual PATTERNITY festival devoted to the powerful presence of pattern in everyday life. Continuing our celebration of space we asked Chris Hatherill from independent agency Super/Collider for his thoughts on his approach to pattern exploration innovation…

How does pattern shape your practice?
Patterns can be found the throughout the natural world – from visual ones like those in space / stripes to patterns of actions, behaviour and evolution. We see pattern everywhere in science, so it’s a subtle but constant influence on what we do.

Space is just one of the parts that you look into at Super/Collider. From a visual point of view why do you think it inspires and fascinates us so much?
Space is like a gateway drug for science. It’s so epic, beautiful and awe-inspiring that it draws you in, which leads to questions about chemistry, geology, physics and million other subjects. From near-earth exploration, to looking back on the earth, to interplanetary missions and distant galaxies, ‘space’ as a subject is, quite literally, limitless.

What new technology or space innovation is exciting to you at the moment?
Some of the ‘big stuff’ like new rockets and spacecraft development moves pretty slowly, so it’s interesting to see all kinds of smaller, more people-driven projects springing up and doing things in a much faster way. There’s a bunch of teams working on small lunar rovers, and another guy launching his own satellite to convert the Northern Lights into sound. On a more epic, sci-fi scale, a company called Planetary Resources is working on mapping and eventually capturing an asteroid so we could mine it for water and precious metals.

Why is other worldly research so important?
Beyond learning more about our own fragile little planet, which is obviously vital for our future, I think space is a good gauge of where we’re at a more species-level, long term kind of way. If we’re not heading up and out, exploring our solar system and learning more about the big vast void beyond what are we really doing?

Space exploration and research is perhaps one of the least accessible facets of science for the general public, how do you recommend we can get more involved and find out more about it?
I’d kind of say the opposite, there’s so much out there to read and see, especially online since space people are nerds! Once the government shutdown ends check out NASA’s Image of the Day site it’s just an endless stream of amazingness.

About Super/Collider

Founded in 2006, super/collider is an independent agency devoted to exploring science from a creative standpoint. Working as and with journalists, illustrators, photographers, filmmakers, artists and designers they champion scientific subjects – from astronomy to zoology – through projects, events, publications and products
Connecting the dots between the mundane and the magnificent can have powerful results. Email to find out about our image curation services.