Interactive Art +

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Positions of the Unknown

Quadrature (DE)


Positions of the Unknown reconstructs a history of surveillance and citizenship, recalling the US military program “Operation Moonwatch.” In the installation, Quadrature scientifically speculates about and engages with technological entities which are in between factual reality and imagination. (quote: Alessandro Ludovico, Neural #58 )

At the dawn of the Space Age, the infrastructure to monitor the skies was not yet developed. So in order to find out whether foreign countries launched objects, the US government had to train citizens to observe and detect possible artificial satellites. Scattered over the allied world, these amateur scientists played a crucial part in keeping track of all men-made technology orbiting the Earth, until “Operation Moonwatch” was discontinued in 1975.

But the existing knowledge and passion did not disappear together with the public mandate. The participating civilians and their acolytes found a new sphere of interest: discovering and exposing those objects, whose existence is denied by official sources. Until today a devoted group of amateur astronomers runs an alternative catalog, containing about 450 data sets missing in the officially published lists. Most of these confidential objects are still defined though and their true nature is known. But for currently 52 of them no specifications are available at all. Only their locations can be calculated.

Positions of the Unknown determines the current whereabouts of these most mysterious satellites by simply pointing at them as they revolve around the Earth. Missing the legal proof, those unidentified artefacts remain elements of pure speculation, secret companions of us and our planet. Even so they have been sighted several times and therefore their ubiquitous presence is somehow validated, those entities linger in a state between existence and non-existence. Quadrature's 52 small machines constantly follow their paths and serve as silent witnesses to the unknown.


Quadrature (DE)

Quadrature (DE) is an artists collective by Juliane Götz (DE), Sebastian Neitsch (DE) and formerly Jan Bernstein (until 2016). Their artistic exploration gravitates towards scientific interests and physical experiments, using new technologies or academic research as sources and inspiration. They share a love for machines and outer space. Over the years, they have been awarded multiple prizes and grants, including a Residency and Award by the European Digital Art and Science Network in collaboration with ESO (European Southern Observatories), an Honorary Mention at the Prix Ars Electronical, an Artist-in-Residency Stipend by Akademie Schloss Solitude as well as a working grant by Kunstfond Bonn. Their work has been presented in international festivals and exhibitions, such as in Ars Electronica Museum, CYNETART in Hellerau, Künstlerhaus Wien, International Digital Arts Biennial in Montreal, or at The Modern Art Museum Santralistanbul in Istanbul.

Supported by Ars Electronica Export and Drive VW Group Forum