Imagine Aliens is a creative space where astrobiology and exoplanet research connect with storytelling, art-making, and imagination. The project is fuelled by profound questions that have intrigued both artists and scientists throughout the ages: Are we alone in the universe? Is there Life beyond Earth? What may that Life look like?
The Imagine Aliens project uses data, concepts, and images from the world of science as creative prompts to spark the development of speculative fiction, concept art, sound art, and other forms of artistic expression. The aim of the project is to create a bridge between art and science in order to make the STEM field (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) more accessible to all.
The convergence of astronomy and creative practice is explored through workshops where participants are guided through exercises in world-building and narrative development. The main components of the workshops are a series of playing cards that provide creative prompts. The cards are paired with information pages on the Imagine Aliens website that allow workshop participants to dive deeper into the fascinating world of astrobiology, exoplanets, and storytelling.
The Imagine Aliens project is the brainchild of Bettina Forget, who developed the concept, the playing cards, and the website as part of her Ph.D. work. Bettina is a doctoral candidate in Art Education at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Her research examines the recontextualization of art and science, and how transdisciplinary education may disrupt gender stereotypes.
Bettina is also the Director of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute’s Artist-in-Residence program. In this capacity, she facilitates the collaboration between artists and SETI researchers, foregrounds art-science research practice, and creates opportunities to disseminate the resulting art projects to a wider audience.
Bettina’s creative work explores the subjects of astronomy, science fiction, and feminism. She has exhibited her artwork in the USA, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Spain, Russia, Singapore, and Nicaragua.
Bettina’s research is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Fellowship and a Renata and Michal Hornstein Doctoral Fellowship.