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Art goes to Mars.
November 30, 2002 12:30 AM   Subscribe

Art goes to Mars. This may be the very first art that our species sends into space, unless you count the little naked folks on the Voyager plaque, or broadcast television. In a somewhat bold move, they've chosen shock artist putter-of-sharks-in-formaldehyde Damien Hirst. Is it me, or would the chosen painting be much dorkier if this were NASA rather than the European Space Agency? Like a duck or something.
posted by condour75 (12 comments total)

 
What did the first Martian microbe say to the second?

"I don't know much about art, but I know what I like."

"My 3,000-year-old could have done that."

"Thank grzod they didn't send Tracey Emin's bed."
posted by rory at 3:49 AM on November 30, 2002


This may be the very first art that our species sends into space, unless you count the little naked folks on the Voyager plaque, or broadcast television.

Charles M. Schultz's characters beat the Hirst portrait by 33 years,
when the Apollo X call signs for its orbital vehicles were taken from Peanuts. The crews who piloted the craft carried illustrations featuring
the likenesses of the strip's two lead characters, which were used during the flight as visual aids for the press.

As an hommage to the success of Apollo X, the Silver Snoopy Award
is an accolade which NASA awards its astronauts.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:49 AM on November 30, 2002


I also forgot to mention the Apollo 8 mission that started NASA's Peanuts obsession a year earlier; a Snoopy doll accompanied the astronauts during the flight.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:56 AM on November 30, 2002


would the chosen painting be much dorkier if this were NASA?

Robert Kincaid in silver Mylar.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:52 AM on November 30, 2002


No, it's not just you, and the above references to Snoopy in Space prove it. Have you ever seen the work of Komar and Melamid?

Hirst's work here is half science (checking the cameras) and half art, but I guess that's the point.
posted by kozad at 8:12 AM on November 30, 2002


I think this is over-rated. The particular "piece" of Hirst's that they're sending happens to look exactly like the standard registration pattern we have in our graphics lab. Yeah, so instead of sending a reg pattern, they're sending some "art". Yippee. If they're tiny, they'll be able to play twister.
posted by Wood at 9:00 AM on November 30, 2002


I don't think the martians will recognize it as art either--it'll either look like a part of the lander that belongs there, or like we left a discarded part behind....And if it's useful, and created to be so, doesn't that kill the whole "high art" part of it? If it was created specifically to be dropped or propped on the surface of Mars to be seen then it would be a different story.
posted by amberglow at 9:15 AM on November 30, 2002


ya , this piece of art is over rated . but so is damien hirst .

at least theres a new blur song to go along with it . and its ( somewhat ) useful .
posted by mishaco at 10:20 AM on November 30, 2002


RE: the first little naked people sent up in space w/ the Voyager plaque. Either the man or woman has arm extended as if in greeting. The question Laurie Anderson brought up - how will the Aliens know if they're saying hello or goodbye? Or perhaps none of the above. An extended arm with open-palmed hand could mean f*ck you and die in other corners of the universe...
posted by Zoyd Wheeler at 12:26 PM on November 30, 2002


The history of art in space includes a tile left on the moon by the Apollo 12 mission, with drawings by Warhol, Rauschenberg, and a few other big names of the times. Hirst isn't the first, only the most recent.
posted by LimePi at 3:09 PM on November 30, 2002


I just wish they'd have picked an artist with actual talent rather than a tired publicity whore like Hirst.
posted by mark13 at 3:49 PM on November 30, 2002


One more on Voyager - I don't recall what else was on there, but Glenn Gould was also on board, playing (I think) the Goldberg Variations. How the Martians et al. are gonna figure out how to play the music is a whole 'nother question.
posted by soyjoy at 11:19 AM on December 2, 2002


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