As Voyager becomes the first human-made object to enter interstellar space, it also carries the first human-made mixtape destined for such depths of the universe. A recent article in Voice of America looks at the gold-plated phonograph record made by Timothy Ferris, who recorded a mix of human and animal sounds for any potential extraterrestrials who may come across the space ship.
There are nearly 60 greetings in a variety of languages, pictures of life, structures and biological systems on our planet, and even a collection of music from around the world, from Japanese shakuhachi to Senegalese percussion to one of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos. It’s an intriguing thought experiment: what would extraterrestrial life think of all this? How would they interpret it?
I wandered over to this Scientific American feature that looks at — er, listens to — the sound of the universe. Sure, you can’t scream in space, but radio signals from the earth and the sun actually have a sound, when translated into human-audible waves. Solar flares and twinkling stars each have specific sounds. And this isn’t just an exercise in synesthesia: auralizing data helps scientists understand the far-away phenomena they’re observing.
Is this Fluxus sound art for space junkies? I’m thinking about Benjamin Patteron’s “Paper Piece,” which was the “newest music” composed of the sound of paper airplanes gliding around the audience. And then there’s George Maciunas’s “Piano Piece #13 (for Nam June Paik),” with the hypnotic sound of piano keys being nailed shut forever. The idea of the aural experiences of a vast and open space that supposedly lacks sound seems dying for a conceptual sound piece. What would a symphony sound like for aliens in a distant land?
An extraordinary variety of artists came to Jon Swihart and Kim Merrill’s backyard potlucks, discussing not just their work, but also the events and challenges of their lives.
With A Lion for Every House at the Art Institute of Chicago, Floating Museum riffs wildly on the art rental programs of some museums.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
A Thing for the Mind takes Philip Guston’s 1978 painting “Story” as a starting point to examine the myriad ways in which this piece has filtered into the work of other painters.
An Oakland librarian and a French teacher in Oklahoma City collect ephemera they discover in returned and used books, from photos and recipes to love letters.
Until you’ve seen a place for yourself, it’s a bit of an abstract idea. So why not ask Artificial Intelligence to create your travel poster?
Incarcerated people will be allowed to read Heather Ann Thompson’s 2016 Blood in the Water, except for two pages featuring a map of the prison.
The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno welcomes guests to learn about “The Architect to the Stars” through captivating black and white photography. On view through October 2.
The long-lost painting resurfaced at the upscale Urban Gallery in Tel Aviv, sparking the anger of Palestinians.
“Guests in love, please understand — most of the exhibits in our museum are objects ‘born’ many years ago and subject to completely different moral standards,” said the Fort Gerhard museum in a statement.
This week, the Webb space telescope wows, übernovels, crappy pigeon nests, the problem with “experts,” and much more.