Debra Solomon's project "Artist-Astronaut" was installed in 2000 and 2001 at Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Ferens Gallery in Hull, England. Her mission was to investigate the effects of artist intervention into space exploration. Solomon put out a general call to select participants. During a series of closed sessions, she selected applicants that possessed the Right Stuff to play the role of Artist-Astronaut.
Her goal was to get perspectives on a mythical 50 years of Artist involvement in space exploration. To achieve this, she took the Artist-Astronaut participants on a mission several decades into the future using hypnotic techniques. In her highly suggestive 'holodeck' installation, participants were guided through time to the year 2050 as they were led to believe that they had either witnessed or participated in, a number of Artist missions. Participants were later given time to reflect upon this experience and discuss at length their own contributions to the field with their peers.
In addition to presenting her findings, Solomon will present audio and video from the Artist-Astronaut "future-sessions". She will also discuss future plans and the present spin-off of Artist-Astronaut as manifested in Art Race In Space's Experimental Directorate for the Arts for the European Space Agency and Industry.
Debra Solomon is an artist who creates "immersive playgrounds" where audience members participate as co-performers in fictional narratives. In 1997, she initiated "www.the-living.org", a project based on an Internet digi-persona. Subsequent discussions with a group of scientists, writers and philosophers associated with NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston inspired the creation of Artist-Astronaut. Since January 2001 Solomon has worked in collaboration with Alexander van Dijk. Solomon is based in Amsterdam and is a lecturer at the Dutch Art Institute MFA program.
-- As of 1/28/02
Continuing with works centered around audience participation, Solomon has made a radical shift in her subject matter from space exploration, through the strange marriage between cycling and feminism (Ladies Gourmet Cycling) and is now focussing on food as a platform for social interaction.
With an eclectic background that includes harpsichord studies and art, Solomon comes from a culinary family and was the first sous chef of Amsterdam's yet experimental Supper Club. In 2004 she began publishing her independent visual research about food and food culture on her widely read website <b>culiblog.org</b> She has become a food domain expert with clients that include a design biennial in Newcastle, the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the design philosophy conference, Doors of Perception.
Solomon's work since 2006 includes a series of temporary 'concept' restaurants including a sprout restaurant that exclusively serves micro-greens (titled 'Grow yer own dang food'), a Recycling Restaurant (in collaboration with architect Dennis Kaspori and artist Jeanne van Heeswijk) and a restaurant for fasting cultures (in collaboration with Amsterdam's design hotel, the Lloyd Hotel).
-- As of 1/4/07