The Lunar Codex Will Digitize the Work of 30,000 Artists, and Then Archive Them on the Moon


There could not but be civilization on the moon, however that doesn’t imply there’s no tradition up there. We’ve beforehand featured the tiny ceramic tile, smuggled onto the Apollo 12 lunar lander, that bears artwork by the likes of Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol. “Fallen Astronaut, an aluminum sculpture by the Belgian artist Paul van Hoeydonck, was left on the lunar floor by the Apollo 15 crew in 1971,” writes the New York Occasions‘ J. D. Biersdorfer. “The Arch Mission Basis has despatched Isaac Asimov’s Basis trilogy and thousands and thousands of Lunar Library pages into house,” and artists like Jeff Koons and Sacha Jafri are among the many artists at present aiming to put in their very own work on the moon’s floor.

The Lunar Codex has grander ambitions, having assembled works from “over 30,000 artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers, from 158 international locations, in 4 time capsules launched to the moon.” You’ll be able to browse their contents at the undertaking’s official website, which breaks all of it down into not simply eight “galleries” of visible artwork, but additionally sections devoted to movie, tv, music, and poetry, amongst different varieties and media. There’s even a piece for books and novels (in addition to one other, oddly, for novels and books), which incorporates a lot of curious titles to signify the achievements of human civilization: Kamikaze Kangaroos, Goofy Newfies, Don’t Taco ‘Bout Homicide, In Mattress with Her Millionaire Foe.

Additionally amongst all these books, saved on both digital reminiscence playing cards or a nickel-based medium known as NanoFiche, is The Zoo on the Finish of the World by one Samuel Peralta, who additionally occurs to be the mastermind of the Lunar Codex undertaking. “A semiretired physicist and creator in Canada with a love of the humanities and sciences,” Peralta has chosen for preservation on the moon the whole lot from “prints from war-torn Ukraine” to “greater than 130 problems with PoetsArtists journal” to photographs like “New American Gothic, by Ayana Ross, the winner of the 2021 Bennett Prize for girls artists; Emerald Lady, a portrait in Lego bricks by Pauline Aubey; and the aptly titled New Moon, a 1980 serigraph by Alex Colville.”

All of the work to be positioned on the moon by the Lunar Codex was created by artists who at the moment are energetic, or have been energetic previously decade or two. As such, it displays a selected second within the cultural historical past of humanity, constituting what Peralta calls “a message within the bottle for the longer term that in this time of warfare, pandemic and financial upheaval folks nonetheless discovered time to create magnificence.” Additionally they discovered time to create podcasts, as shall be evidenced by the inclusion of a quarter-century-long archive of Grace Cavalieri’s interview present The Poet and the Poem, which has reached a brand new viewers lately by that comparatively new format — one which, to future generations of spacefarers making a cease on the moon, will provide nearly as good a illustration as any of life on Earth within the twenty-first century.

by way of Metafilter/Smithsonian

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Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embrace the Substack publication Books on Cities, the ebook The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cinema. Observe him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.


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