“A curious fantasy language-An existence without class, rank, or race- What kinds of flying and driven objects are those? -Heaven and hell, as the church claims, does not exist.” -Friedrich Jürgenson, Voice Transmissions with the Deceased, 1967
Material objects that people produce are more often intentional and hold some kind of purpose. The agency imbued in the objects are now photographic memories in their debris status. Acting without parent agent, the object has taken on an afterlife, separated from its initial purpose, place, and function. As though seen through a Frankensteinian lens, the debris objects have transformed from their intended use and have, by way of their very existence, become weaponized. Orbital debris objects, because of their instability, size, and high velocity in orbit, are a clear and present danger to functioning satellite communication systems, for rocket launch and return missions, and the inhabited International Space Station. Theories such as The Kessler Syndrome, brought forward by Donald Kessler at the dawn of debris research in 1978, details a possible cancellation of planetary communication systems from debris to satellite collisional cascading. Following large collisions, such as the Iridium 33/Cosmos 2251 satellite collision in 2009, (where the two satellites were not listed as on a collision course), ardent efforts have been made to sweep debris further out into a supersynchronous orbit to avoid collision. This area, further than the reach of radio waves, is aptly named the graveyard or disposal orbit.
Now far from intended purpose and function, the orbital debris are free agents in a kind of object limbo. Although weaponized essentially by their changed environment, these objects still carry a lineage of their past purpose and use, but move differently and operate without apparent logic.
Anomalous debris objects
A system, A symbol, A letter, or…
I have situated my work and research in the identification of these objects, their physical transformation, and in the development of a language suitable for the objects afterlife. This language combines the aura of the electromagnetic signals present when the object took part in, or functioned as an operating system. Now absent of agency or logic, these debris objects can share an expanded language using radiowaves and electromagnetic signal play. Although in a kind of limbo state, the objects orbit amongst functioning logical satellites. They move freely alongside human beings in space. Debris objects move in and out of focus-becoming present through obstruction, then gone again into quiet submission.
Read: Extraterrestrial Archaeology
Past stages to series:
1. Nightflight: Acra, NY 42° N x 74° W(From top left: July 3:East, July 4:North, July 5: South, July 6: West)TRT 40 min ; Time of recordings 22:00
In July 2017, I spent 10 days tracking the sky above Acra, NY (42.3109° N, 74.0554° W) during my artist residency at Wave Farm. I modeled a site specific studio using my re outfitted mobile news van parked in an open field on the Wave Farm premises to focus on LEO activity and specific satellite movement of close proximity satellite orbits and satellite debris.
2. Anatomy of a Collision: Elsewhere, Brooklyn 40° N, 73° W
Double channel projection at points: SW and NE; TRT varies; Time of recordings 22:00-24:00
Nightflight Elsewhere, a site specific rooftop video installation at Elsewhere as part of Landscape artist series, curated by Molly Surno. For this project, I will mapped the sky above coordinates of the building for 7 nights. The site specific installation commenced with a live electronic performance, incorporating real time visual and sonic mapping of satellite and space debris in orbit over Elsewhere.
Sound + Video Excerpts: