DEDICATION

The BALLOON SCI-ART GALLERY mission is dedicated to those who go beyond the bounds to rise higher – above standards, above the average, above the Earth.

DREAM AND VISION

This year, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the civic-scientific Project Warsaw, the 10th anniversary of the City Knowledge Academy, the 10th anniversary of Varsavianistic Studies, and we are in the midst of the 200-Year Jubilee of the University of Warsaw and the 110th birthday of the Warsaw School of Economics and 110thbirthday of the Academy of Fine Arts. In honor of all those events, we plan to organise in October a joint flight of two balloons over the city of Warsaw.

The flight is going to be transmitted via radio and Internet to selected groups of viewers in science centres, art galleries, diplomatic institutions and private homes, which means that the number of potential participants from different parts of the world can reach tens of thousands.

Varsavianistics and the City Knowledge Academy, innovative social-scientific and academic projects created by the initiator of this mission,  not only offer a visionary approach to studying, but also welcome a variety of scientific, educational, cultural and social activities. The City Knowledge Academy has been supported by the Faculty of Biology and Modern Technologies Centre at the University of Warsaw, Warsaw School of Economics, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, the City of Warsaw Bureau for Education and the city of Coventry, UK.

As in the case of City Knowledge Academy, the essence of the balloon project is that it is entirely social and community-based. It is not financed by any external sponsor, what guarantees  complete freedom and independence, similar to those experienced during a balloon flight.

EXCITEMENT OF DISCOVERY AND REAL SPORT EMOTIONS

One of the basic features of both science and art is their fascinating unpredictability. In this case, this element is consciously introduced to our programme.

We cannot provide you with the exact date and route of the balloons, nor can we be certain as to what we will discover from that unusual perspective. It is going to be a genuine adventure and an aptitude test, not only for the flight crew but also for the viewers monitoring the mission and assessing its results later on. Undetermined date of the event, which will require the viewers to stay alert, unpredictable flight route and photographer's struggles to get the best shot add to the uniqueness of the event. The fact that the footage will be available online only for a limited period of time before it disappears – during the flight and up to a few hours after the landing – marks this event as truly exclusive.

TWO LEVELS OF INTELLIGENCE – TWO MODES OF COMMUNICATION

Emocje odkryć

The BALLOON SCI-ART GALLERY mission will be transmitted in two languages, however not in the ones we use to think of as languages. The transmission will appeal to our natural communicative instincts, the ones functioning in our brains as perceptive (emotional) and rational intelligence.

PERCEPTIVE (EMOTIONAL) INTELLIGENCE

It operates on the subconscious level and equips us with what we perceive as non-verbalized feelings. This intelligence is inborn, biological and, evolutionally, the oldest function of mind. It is sometimes identified with intuition. On this level of perception of the external world and information processing, the effects of cognitive processes take the shape of impressions and we respond to them in the most basic way – instinctively. We use our reflexes, gestures, mimics or simply try to verbally describe our impressions. What reaches our consciousness is only the vague echo of those impulses. We usually do not know why we like something or not, why certain things scare or appall us, and others, in turn, attract us.

When we try and make an effort to precisely define and articulate those subconscious thoughts, we use the discourse of impressions and aesthetics.

Subconscious processes take place in the oldest, subcortex parts of human brain, which we inherited from our animal ancestors. On this level, there are no language processes, hence there is also no verbalization.

RATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

This function is acquired in the course of evolution and developed on individual level. Thanks to it, we are able to construct definitions, think abstractly and to express our ideas in speech, writing, images, sounds or gestures. The language we use is a part of our consciousness. This level of intelligence is responsible for what we call rational thinking. We can create ideals, concepts, theories, strategies, models. Those processes take place in the evolutionally youngest structures of Homo sapiens cortex, mainly in the glia.

Perceptive (emotional) intelligence creates space for art, the rational one makes room for science. And both mutually are leaning.  Art and science, similarly to the intelligences which shape them, are inseparable components of our minds and our creative cognition. Only their interaction and cooperation enables us to fully perceive and discover the world, and then to construct subsequent models of it.

The BALLOON SCI-ART GALLERY mission combines those two modes of communication, aesthetic-emotional and rational. Hence both components: SCIENCE and ART are in the name of the balloon mission.

ON A SERIOUS NOTE: GOALS OF THE MISSION

  • Introducing image information as a tool for exploration and interpretation of the environment, and as a natural occurrence, determining biological evolution
  • pointing out the importance of scientific and emotional adventure, which has the power to inspire human creativity
  • promoting the combination of science and art as intertwined levels of human intellect: emotional (art-defining) and rational (knowledge-oriented)
  • presenting the history of atmosphere and space exploration as a new, symbolic perspective on Earth exploration and pointing out that this endeavor is crucial in man's biological evolution
  • constructing a modern and innovative formula for Warsaw as a brand which offers space for artistic creativity of its citizens and which transforms the concept of the City Knowledge Academy into a creative action
  • showing the potential of the Warsaw Educational Triptych project – combining school and academic knowledge without the traditional division into subjects, but by using local environment and teaching how to apply interdisciplinary approach for problem-solving
  • popularizing the interdisciplinary perspective on geographical, cultural and social space, as exemplified by Warsaw and other locations, possibly proposed by the participants of our event
  • inspiring and creating an international community willing to take part in the project and developing it further, in other cities and spots all over the world.

PRESENTING THE CITY FROM AN UNKNOWN PERSPECTIVE

The flight in the northern direction over the entire city will allow us to show many yet undiscovered, but interesting and symbolic places in the capital, unknown even to its residents. It will also present the city in three dimensions: scientific, artistic and social.

The core event of the project will be online sharing of a few dozens of taken photographs in the real time. Those artistically and scientifically significant images will be accompanied by multi-language interpretations. In this way, the viewers will witness the creation of an extraordinary documentary, portraying the most biologically, culturally and historically precious landscapes of Warsaw. Despite the multitude of languages in the commentaries to the photographs, the image information is and will be the most universal language of all of the project participants.