The Sky Event - Gökyüzü Etkinliği

23 – 24 October, 2015

With the invaluable support of Akbank Sanat, Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is preparing to host “The Sky Event”, a series of conferences and art performances bringing together art, science, technology and architecture on October 23-24, 2015, in conjunction with its latest major exhibition titled “ZERO. Countdown to the Future”.

“The Sky Event” was inspired by the ZERO movement’s dynamic exhibitions and demonstrations that lasted a single night, which allowed the movement to surpass the borders of Europe in the stifling atmosphere of post-World War II and become an international thought movement. Organized parallel to the revolutionary principles of the German art movement ZERO, which combined the cutting-edge technology of its time with art, “The Sky Event” starts with a series of conferences by notable names of the art world both in Turkey and the world to discuss ZERO in a variety of aspects. “The Sky Event” will conclude with an unforgettable performance of the late ZERO founder and Director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Advanced Visual Studies Otto Piene’s open-air sculptures, “Inflatable Objects”, above the Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s storied terrace.

“The Sky Event” will kick off on October 23, Friday with a series of conferences on the past, present and the future of the ZERO movement by art critic and curator Beral Madra, MIT faculty, artist and the spouse of the late ZERO founder Otto Piene, Elizabeth Goldring Piene along with Laura Knott, who has contributed to curatorial studies as part of the MIT Museum, and Mark Wigley, Dean Emeritus of Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and curator of the 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial.

On October 24, Saturday, “The Sky Event” will conclude with a performance led by a group of artists and volunteer students, featuring Otto Piene’s “Inflatable Objects”, created in line with the artist’s “Sky Art” concept conceived in 1969. With the open air sculptures, inspired by mythological stars, released up in the air above Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s terrace in Emirgan, the Bosphorus sky will be transformed into a limitless canvas in the attendance of art enthusiasts.

Join the “Sky Event” and be a part of the international thought movement ZERO, which, through its unshakeable faith in the future, maintains its inherent energy and relevance today.

About “Sky Art”

 “Sky Art”, which stands as an extension of ZERO founder Otto Piene’s academic work at MIT throughout his career and art practice combining art, science and technology, constitutes a reinterpretation of the artist’s shattering experiences of World War II.

With the idea that the sky, which was the backdrop of night raids and bombings during the war, may be transformed  into the biggest canvas imaginable, ripe for new and positive possibilities, Otto Piene conceived the notion of “Sky Art”, saying: “The enjoyment of the sky was replaced with fear during the war. When the war ended, the joy arose, the impulse, to celebrate the sky – and with that, sky art as well.” In this way, “The Sky Event”, which will take place at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum on October 23 – 24, will meet students and art enthusiasts as a celebration of knowledge and hope, as well as constructive and hopeful projections to the future.

Event Program

23 October, Friday 14:00 – 17:00

Conferences: Beral Madra, Mark Wigley, Elizabeth Goldring Piene, Laura Knott

24 October, Saturday 14:00 – 18:00

“Inflatable Objects” Performance

Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi - "Sky Event / Gökyüzü Etkinliği" Facebook Event Page


Elizabeth Goldring Piene

Elizabeth Goldring Piene is an artist and poet.  She was Senior Fellow at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies. While at CAVS she also held positions as lecturer in the Dept. of Architecture, CAVS Exhibits and Projects Director and Acting Co-Director. Her collaborative research at CAVS included visualizing her own vision loss and developing both a visual language and "seeing machine" for people who are blind or visually challenged. Her collaborators included artists, scientists, engineers and physicians from MIT, Harvard, The University of Maryland and the Joslin Eye Institute and Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston.  She co-directed 5 international Sky Art Conferences with her husband, Otto Piene.  They lived together on their art farm in Groton, Massachusetts.

Laura Knott

Laura Knott served on the curatorial and exhibition staff at the MIT Museum, where she developed and managed dozens of exhibitions, including the award-winning 5000 Moving Parts: Contemporary Kinetic Sculpture. She holds degrees from Duke University and MIT, and has been the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, from state arts agencies, and from The Shifting Foundation. While she was a student at MIT, Laura studied at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies with Otto Piene, co-founder of the postwar Group Zero.

Beral Madra

Beral Madra, a critic and curator, directed Gallery BM (1984-1990) and directing BM Contemporary Art Centre (since 1990), artistic director of Kuad Gallery (2012-) Lives and works in Istanbul. She coordinated the 1st (1987) and the 2nd (1989) Istanbul Biennale, curated exhibitions of Turkish artists in 43rd, 45th, 49th, 50th and 51st Venice Biennale, co-curated the exhibition “Modernities and Memories-Recent Works from the Islamic World” in 47th Venice Biennale. Since 1984 she has organized more than 250 local and international artists in her art centres and in other official art spaces in Istanbul. Lectured in the Art Management Department of Design of Yıldız Technical University (1998-2002). Yeditepe University (2015), produced various publications as a writer and editor.

Mark Wigley

Mark Wigley is an architecture critic, curator, and an accomplished scholar and design teacher. He has written extensively on the theory and practice of architecture and is the author of several publications. Most recently, he co-edited The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationalist Architectures from Constant’s New Babylon to Beyond (2001). Wigley has served as curator for widely attended exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Drawing Center, New York; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. He received both his Bachelor of Architecture (1979) and his PhD (1987) from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has served as Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation for the past ten years and will step down at the end of the 2014 academic year.

2014 - Sky Events