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Manna from Psyche

“Manna From Psyche” is a large-scale, site-specific, outdoor augmented-reality public art installation by William T. Ayton created specifically for Emerge 2020. It depicts the asteroid Psyche (based on a 3D model inspired by scientific data) rotating gracefully, high above the heads of spectators, showering them with the metaphorical fruits of investigating the cosmos.

The installation will be viewable via iOS and Android apps, freely downloadable from the respective app stores onto users’ phones. For visitors who are unable to download or use the apps, we will provide postcards and brochures, plus a video screen showing the 3D model.

The installation incorporates ideas of space exploration and scientific study with the idea of human nourishment, combined with site-specific elements: the asteroid will be colored with tones related to the Arizona landscape and textured with original paintings incorporating stylized interpretations of petroglyphs also seen in the local area—especially spirals, which also allude to the Fibonacci sequence and harmonious proportions seen in nature.

Connecting the distant to the near, the technological to the natural environment surrounding us, “Manna From Psyche” is a sociopolitical and humanistic commentary on science, art, and the idea of gaining sustenance for human advancement and survival from scientific inquiry in our solar system.

Diana Ayton-Shenker

Diana Ayton-Shenker is CEO of Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, and the wife and creative partner of Mr. Ayton. She is an acclaimed visionary thinker, writer, speaker, educator, muse, and many more wonderful things.

William T. Ayton

William T. Ayton is a U.S.-based British artist. His work deals with social issues, imagination, and mythology. After decades working in traditional media like drawing and painting, his work now incorporates augmented-reality content. He lives in Tempe AZ.