International Space Orchestra / Nelly Ben Hayoun

Commissioned by ZERO1 and presented with support from the Z33, House for Contemporary Arts in Hasselt; Montalvo Arts Center; and V2_

Blending space science, planet-poking and bluegrass-playing spacecraft operators, the world’s first orchestra composed of space scientists is coming together to broadcast into deep space. The International Space Orchestra is being assembled and directed by award-winning director and experience designer, Nelly Ben Hayoun.

The International Space Orchestra (ISO) will premiere at the ZERO1 Biennial on September 13th in San Jose with Ground Control: An Opera in Space, a staged concert created for the International Space Orchestra by Nelly Ben Hayoun with an all-star list of collaborators including Blur and Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn; singer Bobby Womack; Penguin Café’s founder and composer, Arthur Jeffes; Japanese performance artist Maywa Denki, and authors Bruce Sterling and Jasmina Tesanovic. The International Space Orchestra’s conductor is Grammy-award winning composer and arranger, Evan Price.

The project’s mission is to draw attention to space science at the most monumental time in its history. An exciting new era of private space travel and exploration is underway, fuelled by commercial space companies such as Virgin Galactic, Space X and Google, and projects such as near-earth asteroid mining and sending humans to Mars orbit are being discussed as realities for the 2030s. The International Space Orchestra is currently rehearsing with Nelly Ben Hayoun and Evan Price in Silicon Valley, California. After the concert, Ben Hayoun will be working with scientists to beam a recording of the orchestra beyond the horizon and into deep space...

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Special Performance Thursday Sept 13, 2012 
Live performance by the International Space Orchestra, directed by Nelly Ben Hayoun, the orchestra is comprised of individuals from NASA ARC, SETI, Singularity University and the International Space University and the Opening of the ZERO1 Urban Screen. 7:00pm-9:00pm at the ZERO1 Urban Screen at 300 S. 1st Street, San Jose. More details!

This project is presented as part of the exhibition
Seeking Silicon Valley at the ZERO1 Garage
September 12-December 8, 2012
Admission is free

Nelly Ben Hayoun

lives and works in London, UK

Artist website


Nelly Ben Hayoun has been called the “Willy Wonka of design and science” and she is on a mission to bring chaos, subversion and disorder into the design and the scientific world. An award-winning director, performer, and experience designer from France, she works with leading scientists and engineers to devise subversive events and performances. Her projects include collaborating with cosmonaut Jean Pierre Haignere on the Soyuz Chair, a modified armchair that enables those brave enough to try it to experience the three-stage launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket. For her next project, Moondust Remix, she has invited scientists to respond to the challenge of imagining the sound of Neil Armstrong's boots on the moon. Ben Hayoun is a visiting professor at the Architectural Association School of Architecture and lectures at the Royal College of Art in London and ENSAAMA - Olivier de Serres in Paris.