Crowdsourced micro-etched emoji of the far lunar future
April 29, 2015 1:49 PM   Subscribe

"Welcome to Moon Drawings. We invite you to contribute a drawing—which will be etched on a sapphire disc, sent to the Moon, and potentially traced by a robot rover into the Moon's soil."

A project by Golan Levin and David Newbury as part of The Moon Arts Project.
posted by oulipian (31 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh god, is the lucky poop winning? Or is it the eggplant?
posted by maryr at 1:59 PM on April 29, 2015


Come on, Dickbutt!
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:03 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


This will finally do it. They've ignored us as best they could, but now alien intelligences will have to come and tell us to stop drawing fucking graffiti on the rest of the solar system.
posted by nubs at 2:05 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is like the Worst Version of science fiction. Private rocket ships are going to the Moon, where they will scribble internet garbage on its surface FOREVER, because great human artistic impulse.

I mean seriously, the moon shouldn't just be a place where anyone who can afford it can go and mess things around.
posted by Frowner at 2:15 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


CHA
posted by griphus at 2:16 PM on April 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


But it's not real, right? This is a joke or a satire or something? It looks real, but I'm pretty gullible.
posted by Frowner at 2:20 PM on April 29, 2015


(CLARK KENT)
posted by maryr at 2:20 PM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


And, incidentally — in case you think you're the first person to send a drawing of genitals to the Moon — Andy Warhol already beat you to it. A tiny ceramic wafer known as the Moon Museum, which includes such a sketch by Warhol along with artworks by other prominent artists, is believed to have been stowed onto the Apollo 12 lunar module in 1969.
I learned something wonderful today.
posted by griphus at 2:29 PM on April 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


I guess this one got past the censors.
posted by Kabanos at 2:50 PM on April 29, 2015


This is like the Worst Version of science fiction. Private rocket ships are going to the Moon, where they will scribble internet garbage on its surface FOREVER, because great human artistic impulse.

Why should our legacy be sanitized and approved by committee? Why don't we want actual, real people's thoughts up there? Isn't ancient Greek graffitti just as interesting and authentic as their statues? For example? This isn't Virgin Galactic putting their logo on the moon. It's a way for regular people, without paying tens of thousands of dollars, to get their expression someplace that might last a while longer than a single human memory.

But you know what, don't worry, despite the democratization sentiment anything actually selected to be drawn in tracks will undoubtedly adhere to someone's idea of "good taste" before it gets approved. :(
posted by danny the boy at 3:03 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I learned something wonderful today.

So now it's a question of just how MANY drawings of dicks humans can get onto the moon
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:22 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mean seriously, the moon shouldn't just be a place where anyone who can afford it can go and mess things around.

I think you are drastically underestimating how large the moon is: it's not like a national park of a few hundred acres where unique geological formations are being threatened by careless tourists, but rather a lifeless rock with almost four times the surface area of the United States (or equivalently, Africa and Australia combined). I think it will not be a huge loss if a few doodles get gently imprinted into its surface.
posted by Pyry at 3:38 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Someone should email Casey Nocket and let her know...
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:13 PM on April 29, 2015


I like Kibo's idea better. Put a speaker on the martian probes, set up a 900 number, and fund space exploration by charging people $1.99 / minute to TELL MARS WHAT YOU THINK!
posted by straight at 6:01 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I submitted the Pizza Hut logo.
posted by hydrophonic at 6:17 PM on April 29, 2015


indeed, why should we let the Fun Police keep us from doing anything anywhere? Just last year some serious old nobody in a smoky bear hat told me I wasn't allowed to carve "O'doyle rules" on the Lincoln Memorial. I mean won't generations ahead want to be reminded of a oblique Simpsons reference? isn't that at least as important as a memorial to the Great Emancipator?
posted by Dr. Twist at 7:01 PM on April 29, 2015


Why should our legacy be sanitized and approved by committee? Why don't we want actual, real people's thoughts up there? Isn't ancient Greek graffitti just as interesting and authentic as their statues? For example? This isn't Virgin Galactic putting their logo on the moon. It's a way for regular people, without paying tens of thousands of dollars, to get their expression someplace that might last a while longer than a single human memory.

I think you're mistaking me - I don't want tasteful statues (for whatever value of "tasteful") on the moon, either. I don't want replica a Caravaggio on the surface of the moon, or a statue of Emma Goldman, for that matter. I particularly don't want the precedent set that private space flight means you get to do whatever to whatever extra-terran surface you land on.

It just sits ill with me that as a society we're barely even getting to the moon - and the only way any space flight seems to be happening is at the behest of these really unappealing and absolutely unaccountable private entitles (it's not like NASA is super accountable either, but there's at least some pretense of democracy involved) - and the first thing anyone wants to do is start putting random human stuff on the surface of the moon forever. It just seems like such depressing hubris.

There's this Vandana Singh piece about Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 and his general ideas about viriditas and terraforming which kind of captures where I'm coming from, although much better than I could put it. (Not that I don't like Kim Stanley Robinson, I do very much - that part where [exciting revolutionary things that operate on a geologic scale] happen in Red Mars is some of the most awesome science fiction ever, and his Three Californias trilogy is some of my favorite science fiction of all science fiction ever, over and above even certain Samuel Delany novels.)
posted by Frowner at 7:08 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


at least the alt.chrome.the.moon newsgroup wasn't serious.
posted by Dr. Twist at 7:22 PM on April 29, 2015


I think I saw this in a episode of The Tick.
posted by boilermonster at 11:14 PM on April 29, 2015


I think we should cover the entire surface of the moon with a 1:1 scale picture of the moon.
posted by rankfreudlite at 11:31 PM on April 29, 2015


rankfreudlite:
I think we should cover the entire surface of the moon with a 1:1 scale picture of the moon.

". . . In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.
– Suárez Miranda, Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV, Cap. XLV, Lérida, 1658"
posted by Gymnopedist at 11:56 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


". . . In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.
– Suárez Miranda, Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV, Cap. XLV, Lérida, 1658"


That's beautiful! It kinda has a Cien Años de Soledad feel to it.
posted by rankfreudlite at 5:57 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


New pdf acquisition: Ficciones by Borges!
posted by rankfreudlite at 6:33 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire

Denmark Minecraft Map

What does it mean when we can create a 1:1 Map of the Empire that takes no physical space?
posted by nubs at 9:20 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


It just sits ill with me that as a society we're barely even getting to the moon - and the only way any space flight seems to be happening is at the behest of these really unappealing and absolutely unaccountable private entitles

I feel you, but this doesn't sit well with me because this isn't some poorly thought out commercial venture throwing garbage onto the moon. It's based and supported by CMU, who have had a decade-long partnership with NASA, building software and hardware (their software was an integral part of the Mars Rovers)--their California campus is at NASA Ames. And the artist who created the sculpture-- who was the former dean of the College of Fine Arts at CMU--his work was the first piece of art taken into space by NASA.

I went to CMU, partly because they have a long tradition of encouraging engineers and artists to collaborate with each other. This is exactly the kind of thing space exploration needs. More artists. Not less. What's the point of going anywhere in the universe if we're not going to be considerate about what it means for us, in the bigger sense?

Like, maybe what I really feel is, we aren't just barely getting to the moon. We were there over 45 years ago, and we've done squat with it. What else should we be putting on there, if not art?
posted by danny the boy at 10:39 AM on April 30, 2015


But okay, look, the moon does not belong just to the US, or just to Carnegie Mellon. The moon does not belong just to people with internet access and the right set of cultural connections to participate in this. It's a nominally "democratic" process curated by a couple of elite class men at an elite class private institution with sort of a vaguely populist rhetoric. I am very skeptical of "democratic" processes that are basically "huh, putting this out there on the internet only costs us the money needed to put up the website, and anyone can use the internet, so it's populist, right?"

For starters, if what they mean is "a bunch of people with the right cultural connections to participate in this will have some say in what gets put on the moon forever", then say that.

In this context, though, I'm skeptical of art. "Art" does a lot of work in a lot of sentences - of course we should put "art" on the moon because art is always good, naturally. What art? Well, some art we got off the internet. Because art is ipso facto valuable, and yet cheap at the same time, since it's not like we're paying the artists.

There's an emptiness, to me, to the idea that just Putting Some Human Stuff On The Moon is good arts practice. It seems like it's always-already accepted that humans should just....go forth and put our stuff everywhere, just because - like making the mountains into Mount Rushmore. It seems philosophically empty to me, like "hm, we could think about the moral status of the rest of the universe, and where people belong, and what it means to change a virtually permanent surface on another sphere, and the whole 'terra nullius' thing that humans tend to do, and the whole set of ideas around what "rights" humans have over other spaces and who we really mean by "humans having rights"...or we could just collect some doodles from the internet and trace them on the moon, that sounds cool!"

(I mean, can the moon "belong" to anyone, of course?)
posted by Frowner at 10:52 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]



(I mean, can the moon "belong" to anyone, of course?)

Do you really think that when and if humans start colonizing space the same shit that happens on Earth isn't going to happen there?
posted by rankfreudlite at 11:20 AM on April 30, 2015



What does it mean when we can create a 1:1 Map of the Empire that takes no physical space?

The map will be easier to fold?
posted by rankfreudlite at 11:23 AM on April 30, 2015


Putting a giant MEMENTO MORI on the moon might be fun.

The thought of a throwaway joke like dickbutt being immortalized on the moon is maybe a bit too on the nose as a representation of the mental state of rich westerners at whom this service is targeted.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:18 PM on April 30, 2015


Do you really think that when and if humans start colonizing space the same shit that happens on Earth isn't going to happen there?

Funny that you should ask, since that's one of the things we routinely discuss in the science fiction classes that I teach. It's one of the earliest themes of science-fiction-as-we-know-it-today, which dates from the space travel romances/colonization of Mars stories of the late nineteenth century. Quite a lot of popular propaganda in the early communist movement revolved around "what if we could settle Mars and have a revolution there" - KSR is working this theme in Red Mars, certainly consciously. Back when people still believed that there were canals on Mars, various public intellectuals used to speculate on Martian society - which, remember, they believed they could see via telescope - was it a sophisticated, hierarchical, violent state whose canals were built by force? was it a small scale peasant utopia whose canals were the product of intelligent cooperation?

The answer is: yes, I think that the same shit will happen there, unless and until people are organized enough to stop it. This includes trying not to set bad precedents in the early days of private space flight, ie now. And it includes bringing the whole "terra nullius" business into consciousness so that it can be talked through, rather than just accepted as the unconscious underpinnings of space settlement.
posted by Frowner at 1:26 PM on April 30, 2015


The map will be easier to fold?

Less shelter for beggars, too.
posted by nubs at 1:49 PM on April 30, 2015


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