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Posted inArt

What’s the Point of Sending Pictures into Space?

For his latest project, The Last Pictures, Trevor Paglen is doing something unconventional: he’s sending photographs into space. Paglen, an artist and writer with a PhD in geography, worked with researchers and assistants at public art organization Creative Time to select a group of 100 photographs meant to reflect the reign of humans on earth, “a visual record of our contemporary historical moment,” according to the project’s website; in the process, he conducted interviews with scientists, philosophers, artists, and historians about the idea. He then enlisted material scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to help him etch the pictures into an archival, gold-plated disc, and launched the photo set into space aboard a communications satellite. The pictures will live on there for billions of years — long past the time when humans inhabit the earth, probably until the end of the earth itself.