GANYMEDE – a project between art and science

Credit : Em DE KORSAK

Artist Em de Korsak creates a science fiction graphic novel about one of Jupiter’s icy moons – Ganymede. Experimental and researched, this story takes shape gradually, fueled by mineral, organic, vegetal and imagined inspirations. Ganymede is the story of a hypothesis of aquatic life, dense, complex and poetic, accompanied by illustrations and prose calling into question our place in the cosmos and the food chain of the terrestrial world. Focused on scientific research and data, this project combines poetry, illustration, data, and science. Em de Korsak, a French-American artist, has been working on this graphic novel project, Ganymede, for the past five years. The artist has joined the ERC PROMISES at the LPG, which is supported by ESA’s Juice project.

Why ally art and science?

We ask the artist:

“Science is a subject that impacts our daily lives, however, it often remains mysterious and hermetic for many. The progress of science does not always follow the evolution of mentalities. The popularization of a complex scientific subject is often made possible through projects that offer attractive visualization of concrete data. The blending of art and science allows for unique innovation, creativity and technicality. It is in this context that the fusion of the fields of science and art makes it possible to visualize the nuances of this complex information. Visualizing the complexity of data through drawing, immersing viewers in poetic forms. They can appreciate the subject more adeptly, as well as interact with projects like VR.
 Science should be accessible, regardless of the nature of the knowledge and its concrete application. The theoretical expanse of a subject does not limit its importance and consequently its accessibility. Making a subject available to all relies on finding the essence of information to make it subsequently accessible. It is the action of making technical and scientific knowledge accessible to as many people as possible, to non-specialists. This helps bridge the gap between scientific data and its assimilation by the collective consciousness.
 Accessibility tools take various forms, such as books, videos, art installations, exhibitions, articles, graphic design, magazines, games, models, etc. Attention and emphasis on creating approachable and visually cohesive exhibits explores projects which allow visibility for a specific concept through a collaboration between art and science, which connects the dichotomy often present between these two fields.
 The alliance of art and science produces crucial projects that often aim to popularize complex knowledge. In a project, the poetic and visually attractive side is provided by art, while the scientific side provides technical and concrete information. The artistic aspect of a project does not only serve as a medium to make a scientific subject dynamic. The two mutually combine and are equal in their contributions within a project. It is through this interlinking that innovation and notable singularity arise.”

The artist’s process

Photo de Em de Korsac devant une partie de sa création, une page du roman graphique.
Credit : Simon TORLOTIN

Decomposing to revive, constructing to destruct, analyze to adapt – the process of experimentation intersects with documented research. Em de Korsak’s work is built in layers, through ecosystems, each subject influences the development of its forms. Passionate about research that combines art and science, which leads to numerous projects through a multidisciplinary and experimental approach, the artist tends towards a mix between editorial design and art, as well as various scientific fields. By digging into a connection with matter, while questioning the aesthetics of atypical subjects, the artist often seeks to make accessible complex science, providing an aesthetic vision which allows for an openness in the sharing of knowledge.

Affiche de promotion de l'exposition Ganymède pour le Festival d'Astronomie. L'affiche porte le texte "Em de Korsac, L'odysée de Ganymède, l'entrée dans un monde captivant. Le 13, 17 et 20 janvier 2024"
Credit : Em DE KORSAK

Implementation of the project

LeThe first part of the Ganymede outreach project was deployed in January 2024, in Nantes.
 The inauguration of the Astronomy Festival presented an excellent opportunity for a first contact with the public. The idea was to create an exhibition that presented large format illustrations of Ganymede in order to give an overview of the graphic novel. The exhibition was titled “The Odyssey of Ganymede: Enter into a Captivating World.”
 Exhibiting in the same space as the LPG and associations such as the Nantes Planetarium, the Nantes Astronomy Society, and the Meridian Association allowed for rich connections between the multiple projects, where the public could both understand both the scientific and artistic subjects. This unique mix of proposals also brought a very wide audience in terms of ages and interests. Scientific mediation intersected here with artistic mediation, touching on numerous subjects which coalesced around a central goal – making science accessible.

Credit : Emilie SAVARY


The framework of the exhibition allowed for many fruitful and interesting discussions with a public both invested and curious. This experience allows for the possibility of bringing the public’s questions closer to home – to their daily curiosity, the intersection of topics, the regrouping of several multifaceted subjects…
 Facing the illustrations of Ganymede were responses in the forms of 3D icy moon models, images of its surface taken by satellites, and the scientific mediation booths based on the icy moons of the Jovian and Saturnian system. Visual and interactive, this scenography created a rotational wave between subjects, where visitors discovered the space while enjoying both an art exhibition and accessible science. The scientifically oriented public was able to discover the poetic works of Ganymede, while the artistic public was able to meet and learn about the world of our solar system’s icy moons. For most of the visitors, this project was a first in the case of mixing art and science. This has brought greater visibility to the ESA Juice project.
 During the event, visitors were often attracted and drawn to science through the art presented by the Ganymede illustrations. Thanks to this first exhibition, the Ganymede project is planning more upcoming events; future exhibition projects are underway.

The next steps

At the beginning of April, Ganymede will be presented at the LPG for a week of feedback and discussion. The exhibition will be in the form of a storyboard, which consists of giving an overview of the chapters of the graphic novel and its story, accompanied by text and visuals.
 This interactive system allows everyone to give their opinion on the project, which will subsequently make it possible to finalize a comprehensive edition of the graphic novel for its publication (scheduled for January 2025).