Installation views, THE GIFT, 2023, Colorado College Fine Arts Center
“As scientists and artists, we are all observers of the world. We are all interpreters and storytellers,” said Dr. Gosnell. “We hope people leave this experience feeling a closer connection to the universe and with an understanding that the story of science belongs to all of us. We can build a more welcoming world from the stories we tell.”
The Gift is an immersive installation that animates contemporary astrophysics research to open up metaphorical space for grief, care, and renewal.
In this experience, participants enter a music-filled reading room, where they encounter an all-ages illustrated book—based on the astrophysics research of Dr. Natalie Gosnell, Assistant Professor of Physics at Colorado College—that invites responses both tactile and emotional. This book tells the story of two stars that are so close to one another yet so far from us that they appear as a single point of light in the sky. Their fates are intertwined; one star, at the end of its life, transfers its material to the companion, allowing the companion to burn brighter and to appear—for a moment—younger, brighter, bluer. This tender story and playful experience heeds the call of anthropologist Emily Martin, to “wake the sleeping metaphors of science.”