Artist Trevor Paglen has quite literally launched an exhibition of global – and intergalactic -- scope. He sent an archival disc of photographs -- called “The Last Pictures” -- into outer space Tuesday, meant to orbit Earth for billions of years.
Paglen consulted with scientists, artists, philosophers, historians, astronomers, physicists and cultural theorists to whittle down human history into 100 photographs that make a cultural statement about our civilization. He then micro-etched the images onto a disc that was encased in a gold shell designed at MIT and Carleton College.
With help from the EchoStar Corp., which donated engineers to the project, the intrepid space-traveling exhibition was then attached to the exterior of a communications satellite, EchoStar XVI, and sent into space on Tuesday.
The lift-off site? The Republic of Kazakhstan.
“The Last Pictures” was commissioned by the New York-based nonprofit Creative Time, which has been working with artists on public art projects since 1974. The project was partially sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.