Voyager: Humanity in Interstellar Space
Universal Space Program, New York, USA
Multimedia installation (circular projection, digital sound, real-time digital counters), 1hr, 57min
Alt Art Space, Istanbul Design Biennial, Are We Human?, 2016.
Wayne Miller, “Birth,” 1946. © Chrysokona Mavrou
The Voyager 1 space probe is the human-made object furthest away from Earth. Launched by NASA in 1977, Voyager 1 and 2, were… designed to become humanity’s potential ambassadors to extraterrestrial forms of intelligent life. Each of the probes bears on its backside a copy of the Voyager Golden Record: an audio-visual introduction to “Life on Earth” encoded as a phonographic signal… The most human thing, perhaps, about sending Voyager’s interstellar ‘in a bottle’ is not the anticipation of an answer, but the comforting thought that the message is somewhere out there. The Voyagers already constitute two archaeological remnants of our species from 1977… As their sensing instruments fall into sleep one by one, they are destined to become two inert cenotaphs to our species.
Artist’s impression of Voyager 1’s flyby Jupiter and Saturn, ca. 1977. © NASA
NASA, Voyager Golden Record cover, ca. 1977. © NASA
Edward H. White, the first American astronaut to perform a space walk, 1965. © James McDivitt/NASA
Voyager: Humanity in Interstellar Space, was presented at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, Αre We Human?, curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley in 2016. The project is a reflection on both the Voyager Golden Record, a collection of 116 images, sounds and music selected by NASA in 1977 to explain human civilization to alien species, and the persistent ambition of humanity to communicate with alien forms of life. Two copies of the Golden Record travel in deep space on board the space probes Voyager 1 and 2. An oversize circular screen comprised the main element of the installation on which a selection of the images of the Golden Record was projected. Two digital counters displayed in real time the distance of the probes from earth in kilometers. Finally, a cluster of cushions on the floor equipped with headphone sets allowed exhibition visitors to “travel” in space while listening excerpts of the sound recordings included in the Voyager Golden Record…
Phillip Leonian, “Cathy Rigby,” Sports Illustrated, 1971. © Petros Pattakos
Turtox/Cambosco, “Cell Division,” Macmillan Science Co. © Cahit Özinal
Donna Grosvenor, “Dancer from Bali,” National Geographic, ca. 1969. © Universal Space Program
Voyager installation under construction, 2016. © IKSV
USP: Rutger Huiberts, Evangelos Kotsioris, 2016. © Chrysokona Mavrou