WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 7:00-9:00PM
LIVE at the NYPL Featuring Werner Herzog, Trevor Paglen, and Tracy K. Smith
Bryant Park | New York, NY 10018
Since 1963, more than eight hundred spacecraft have been launched into geosynchronous orbit, forming a man-made ring of satellites around the Earth. These satellites are destined to become one of the longest-lasting artifacts of human civilization, quietly floating through space long after every trace of humanity has disappeared from the planet.
Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures, commissioned and presented by Creative Time, is a project that marks one of these spacecraft with a visual record of our contemporary historical moment. Paglen spent five years interviewing scientists, artists, anthropologists, and philosophers to consider what such a cultural mark should be. Working with materials scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Paglen developed an artifact designed to last billions of years—an ultra-archival golden disc, micro-etched with one hundred photographs and encased in a gold-plated shell. In late 2012, the communications satellite EchoStar XVI will launch into geostationary orbit from Kazakhstan with the disc mounted to its anti-earth deck. While the satellite’s broadcast images are as fleeting as the light-speed radio waves they travel on, The Last Pictures will remain in outer space slowly circling the Earth until the Earth itself is no more. Audiences on Earth can experience the project through a book, co-published by Creative Time Books and University of California Press, as well as through national and international public programs and events exploring this innovative public art work.
This Wednesday, September 19 from 7-9PM, join artist and geographer Trevor Paglen, filmmaker Werner Herzog, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith for a special evening under the stars in New York City's Bryant Park. This event, co-presented by Creative Time and LIVE from the NYPL,
will feature a reading by Smith, Herzog and Paglen in conversation about cultural artifacts, space exploration, and the legacy of human civilization, and a presentation of the images included in The Last Pictures.
Telescopes will also be provided for viewing the night sky by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. The event is free and open to the public.
Join the conversation around The Last Pictures on Twitter using #thelastpictures, and find out more about Creative Time’s programming at www.creativetime.org