In the past 3 years, 3 amazing events have occurred in space exploration. In 2014, the Rosetta spacecraft deployed its Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko; in 2012, the Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space; and this year, the New Horizons spacecraft reached Pluto.
Both Voyagers 1 and 2 have explored Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune and are still sending data back to earth through the Deep Space Network. Both spacecraft have been traveling for 37 years and Voyager 1 is closing in a distance from Earth of 20 billion km.
It is well known that the Voyager spacecrafts are carrying Carl Sagan's golden records, storage devices for a myriad of Earthly images, sounds, and messages. Sagan said
No one sends such a message on such a journey without a positive passion for the future. For all the possible vagaries of the message, any recipient could be sure that we were a species
There is a dichotomous nature to Voyager; on one hand, it represents a profound expression of hope and optimism. On the other, it is a fragile craft racing into the lonely unknown, billions of miles from Earth. I've been considering parallels between these crafts and the process of making and exhibiting art. Art objects are often made in secret, with great labor, and then cast out into the world, where their fate is uncertain. Thinking about the Voyager crafts, I decided to make my own interstellar craft. Instead of the elegance of the Voyagers' golden records, my craft will contain a bundled, ramshackle gallimaufry of furniture, machinery, and bundled memories. My craft is simultaneously a long distance message to "extraterrestrial" lifeforms and an attempt to expunge certain aspects of my past by symbolically casting them into deep space.
Below, some inspiration.
-Mary Mattingly's piece (from the series Blockades, Boulders, Weights), illustrates the kind of bundling I am interested in. She has produced bundled pieces where she performatively carries, drags, hauls them across great distances, in an effort to expel them both physically and from her memory. (from her website.)
-Mike Nelson's piece Studio Apparatus is the result of foraging and scavenging from nearby streets and markets, to create a narrative installation. (from the Camden Arts Centre.)
-Yaron Steinberg's brain is a theater for various processes to occur. A motorized car runs through the brain recording and playing sounds, lights activate in varying combinations, and he has filmed the interior of the brain several times, capturing "secret" occurrences. (his website)
-Lastly is a collection of images of homeless people's possessions, both ramshackle and highly organized. Also, several images of overloaded vehicles. This dichotomy of all-encompassing disorder and extreme ergonomic organization is something I'm after for this piece.