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This image shows two glowing arcs flowing from a crowd into the Psyche spacecraft.

Psyche Inspired

Power of Suggestion

Janani Lakshmanan

April 1, 2020

Major: Mathematics (Astronomy minor)

Genre/Medium: digital art and Chitranatyam (dance art)

About the work: As someone who has judiciously stayed away from the visual arts for much of my life, I have been in awe of all the project submissions of the other Psyche Inspired interns over the last semester. As my tribute to the Psyche Mission and to the other Psyche Inspired interns, I was very glad to collaborate with Ral Vandenhoudt for this Chitranatyam: a dance-drawing. He provided digital line-art of the spacecraft Psyche orbiting (16) Psyche, and it was my pleasure attempting to model it using my feet. I constructed my own platform for this piece, in accordance with the structures imposed by Chitranatyam, by reusing pieces of wood used previously for cultural festivals.

I decided to keep to the traditional route and utilize sand rather than paint to produce my piece, which interacted marvelously with the desert environment I chose to perform in. Indeed, the winds of Arizona have had just as much artistic input in this piece as myself! One deliberate artistic choice I made was to search for the vivid color of the material, as this piece is in honor of my amazing fellow interns, and cobalt blue sand is best suited to represent the Cobalt Class.

Psyche Inspired Overview

Psyche Inspired is a program that brings undergraduate students from any discipline or major together to share the excitement, innovation, and scientific and engineering content of NASA’s Psyche mission with the public in new ways through artistic and creative works. These works are posted in the gallery above and highlighted on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. View the full resolution images in the image gallery. ASU undergraduate Kaxandra Nessi is the student manager of Psyche Inspired. Brooke Owen was the former student manager from 2017-2019. This year’s Psyche Inspired cohort is known as the Cobalt Class.

Read a feature about Psyche Inspired in Eos.

Psyche Inspired was piloted at ASU during the 2017-2018 academic year. The works from the 2017-2018 Psyche Inspired cohort (known as the Titanium Class) are collected in a downloadable book that tells the story of Psyche through musical scores, sculptures, painting, 3-D models, photography, acrylic art, needlepoint, stop-motion films, and mixed media.

Psyche Inspired was expanded nationally during the 2018-2019 academic year. The works from the 2018-2019 Psyche Inspired cohort (known as the Iron Class) are also available in a downloadable book.

Current Student Collaborations Participants

View a list of the students, faculty, staff, and mentors currently involved in Psyche Student Collaborations.


Student Collaborations Participants