“The Last Pictures” photo exhibition by Trevor Paglen was launched into space earlier this week, attached to the exterior of the SchoStar XVI satellite.The satellite is headed about 22,000 miles above the Earth and its orbiting might last for a billion years, The New Yorker reports.
The exhibition is the result of an over five-year research led by Trevor Paglen, which included interviews with artists, philosophers, scientists, astronomers, physicists, historians and cultural theorists.
The author sought to offer an artistic expression of human civilization, comprised in a 100 photos montage.
Afterwards, the images were micro-etched onto a disk that was placed in a gold case, according to Los Angeles Times.
The project was commissioned by Creative Time, a New York nonprofit company and was partially sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Trevor Paglen's inspiration for the project consisted partially in the NASA audio-visual compilation of fragments of earthly life – Pioneer Plaque and the Voyager Golden Record – sent into space over 40 years ago with little hope that aliens might find them.
“At some point in the planet's future there may be little evidence of human civilization on Earth's surface,” declared Paglen.
“A billion years from now, we can imagine a new generation of dinosaurs or highly evolved sea creatures looking up at the night sky and noticing a ring of dead machines encircling our planet. If they investigate those strange monoliths, 'The Last Pictures' might help explain what happened to the people who built them.”
Although made for space, “The Last Pictures” had a great rebound on Earth.
Paglen's work was exhibited in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in London at Tate Modern, in Philadelphia at the Institute of Contemporary Art and other places around the world.
A book called “The Last Pictures,” containing Paglen's photos will be published by the University of California Press.