Tender Time. A multimedia installation for Venice

I have taken a three-year break from posting here. But will now start again. In a few week’s time the exhibition Time Space existence will open in Venice. It is organized by European Cultural Centre and will run for six months with about 200 exhibitors, primarily archicture offices, but also a number of universities. Medea Lab will participate with the multimedia installation Tender Time. There are about 20 of us working on it, a mixture of researchers, artists and students. Below you can read the text that will be published in the exhibition catalogue.

For more than 40 years Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have travelled through space transmitting data to Earth. Before leaving our Solar System, the only spacecraft ever to do so, Voyager 1 took an iconic picture in which the Earth appears simply, in the words of Carl Sagan, as a pale blue dot.

Included aboard each of the Voyager spacecraft is a “Golden Record” containing sounds and images telling stories of life and culture on Earth, among them spoken greetings in 55 different languages, both ancient and modern, and 27 music pieces from different parts of the world. The spacecraft and their Golden Records exist as echoes from the past that remain alive, moving continuously through space, and through time.

The Tender Time installation invites visitors to join the Voyagers on their journey and to reflect on the shifting layers of stories, rhythms, sounds and languages that interconnect to form the pale blue dot that is Earth. What new perspectives do the Voyagers’ vast distance from Earth, and the intergalactic timeframe through which they pass, offer on our own lives?

Tender Time (re)presents the sounds and images etched into the grooves of the Golden Records as an immersive environment, with sonic, visual and textual elements conjuring the disjunctures of space and time that the Voyager mission makes apparent. By recognizing the instability and interconnectedness of past, present and future, Tender Time performs a hauntological aesthetic.

New sonic layers have been curated, performed and woven into the Voyagers’ existing cultural archive, adding to the spectral sensibility of the work. These recorded messages, greetings delivered from our own tender time, are expressions of regret and stories of futures lost. By speaking them into this space and time, perhaps there is hope that they can be found again.


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