The Adler Planetarium

Astrographics is a 16-minute piece developed in collaboration with the Adler Planetarium and presented in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The program will run nightly at 9:00 & 9:30 p.m. through July 4, 2021.

In keeping with City of Chicago guidelines, all visitors must practice social distancing and wear a face covering while viewing the projections.

The Adler Planetarium

Astrographics will explore ways in which humans conceptualize and visualize their universe, and how that has changed over time. The piece will consist of four movements (Earth, Other Worlds, Stars and Beyond) which will transport the viewer from Earth to other planets and stars, then out to deeper and more speculative realms. Each of these movements features scientific visualizations based on real data showing the scale of the universe. The visuals, produced by the Adler Planetarium, are woven together with imagery from the world’s telescopes and works on paper from the Adler’s collections. Accompanying the projection will be music from the Sun Ra Arkestra archives from the Experimental Sound Studio.

Astrographics artistically showcases both historic perceptions of space and more recent advances in the understanding of the universe. The Adler Planetarium opened May 12, 1930, and was the first planetarium in the Americas, simulating the unspoiled night sky for its urban visitors. Ninety years later, humankind’s understanding of the universe has been dramatically transformed. In just the past year, a black hole was imaged for the first time. In 2017, humans were able to feel the ripples in spacetime from a collision of two black holes more than 1 billion light years away.


“The Astrographics video piece for Art on theMART celebrates our growing understanding of the universe and our place within it,” said Dr. Andrew K. Johnston, the Adler’s Vice President of Museum Experience and Collections. “Advances in space exploration have provided many exciting images which are scientifically important and also visually beautiful. We are excited for this opportunity to showcase the connections between science and the visual arts. It provides the Adler Planetarium a unique opportunity to remind the public of these connections, blending art and science to introduce new audiences to discover the wonders of the cosmos.”

“As a significant public art platform, Art on theMART amplifies the work of our key cultural collaborators like the Adler Planetarium and builds upon our strong partnership track record,” said Cynthia Noble, Executive Director for Art on theMART. “Illuminating the creative work of scientific discovery and its visual representation on our expansive downtown canvas is particularly resonant as Chicago renews itself in 2021.”