For Escape Velocity, I was inspired by how NASA/JPL’s Curiosity rover energized the national imagination concerning space exploration. Despite this there is always a sinking disappointment when one realizes that most images of space we see are colorized or otherwise manipulated by a third party. For me, this tends to highlight the impossibility of ever actually experiencing another world firsthand.
In reaction, this installation is an effort to explore the visual vernacular of how rovers and satellites (themselves, unique sculptures), “see” their environments and therefore, how humans experience the notion of the frontier through them. In a closed-circuit video setup using extra-terrestrial topography, this installation presents the viewer with a low resolution, black and white display of an otherwise rich and vibrant landscape, passing endlessly by. An audio accompaniment, composed by Yiannis Christofides, creates and immersive atmosphere similar to flying in a large, rumbling craft and hearing the subtle ticking of instrumentation.
One is free to lose themselves in the video and imagine that they are the first human to fly over this particular landscape, in the spirit of the first sea-faring explorers.
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