Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
While humanity has only been launching huge payloads into outer space since the 1950s, with Sputnik breaking into orbit in 1957, a lot of human-made debris and technology now circle the planet. A new data visualization project called Stuff in Space is an interactive portal for the satellites, rocket parts, and collision fragments up above the Earth.
It’s similar to NASA’s J-Track, which has long been a resource for tracking satellites. While you need to know exactly the spacecraft name to search for it on Stuff in Space (for example, ISS for the International Space Station), there are groupings like debris from the 2009 Iridium 33 and Kosmos-2251 collision over Siberia, GPS satellites, and the Ariane 5 European Space Agency rockets.
Now at first glance the visualization might look alarming, but keep in mind that the orbs representing working and defunct satellites in blue, debris in grey, and rocket parts in red are not to scale. So while it might appear like there’s a huge shell of junk suffocating our planet, we’re not yet in a WALL-E situation where we’d have to crash through a barrier of dead satellites to escape. Also a lot of the debris in low orbit will eventually come back down, and many obsolete spacecraft are placed in a “graveyard orbit” to cut down chances of collision. Furthermore, not everything we’ve ever shot into the sky is still out there: some like the Mir space station were crashed into a region of the Pacific Ocean known as the Spacecraft Cemetery. However, Stuff in Space does accessibly show just how much is up there, and considers the impact our short time in space travel has had on the character of our planet.
View Stuff in Space online (Firefox browser recommended).
In a world delighted and entertained by displays of material excess, Diane Simpson shows that there is another possibility.
The animal carcass sculptures are gruesome yet their materials — the artist’s own discarded clothing — lend them some gentleness.
View work by over 40 experimental artists and collectives from throughout the Americas who contributed to New York’s art scene during the 1960s and ’70s.
Mr. Bernatowicz, in your introductory text you talk about the need for honesty, the disease of hypocrisy, overreaching governments. You do not fulfill a single one of your own ideals.
The biggest problem with turning Dune into a film is that the book appears increasingly derivative of generic sci-fi tropes.
This exhibition explores how images of the human body were used to provoke profound physical and emotional responses in viewers from the 15th through 18th centuries.
Ed Roberson’s motorcycle ride from Pittsburgh to the Pacific is a quest-romance, an exploration of American culture and American mythology.
The collaborative handmade paper- and printmaking center at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts publishes new works by Liz Collins and Sarah McEneaney.
The legendary performer Ricky Jay amassed a collection of about 10,000 rare books, posters, and artwork about all things esoteric.
The proceeds will benefit the BDC’s community-centered initiatives and exhibitions.