This Is Cool: A Message From Earth

We’ve heard a lot about that golden record aboard Voyager as its journey to the stars continues, at least for now. Having your own copy and different ways to experience it have come in the last year.

A new celebration of this ongoing journey comes in the form of A Message From Earth:

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Golden Record project, WeTransfer has partnered with Stink Studios, Gilles Peterson, Oneohtrix Point Never, S U R V I V E, Wanda Diaz Merced and more to present “A Message from Earth.”

This interactive exhibition of specially-commissioned music, film, art and literature pays tribute to the ambitious, optimistic spirit of the original Golden Record. 40 years ago, a group led by astronomer Carl Sagan set themselves a seemingly impossible challenge – to sum up what it means to be human, and capture these images, sounds, music and greetings on two Golden Records. These were placed aboard NASA’s Voyager I and II, two spacecraft blasted into space to go further than anything man-made had ever gone before. The records were intended as a message from Earth for any extraterrestrial life that might find them.

This is an impressive collaboration of contemporary artists and more.

The unique online exhibition “A Message from Earth” represents a collage of the contemporary human condition, and features new and exclusive pieces from leading artists, musicians, photographers, authors, and scientists. Their works are commissioned to celebrate themes of hope, determination, and goodwill, are inspired by the original project. The exhibition’s intention is to relay a message of goodwill and encourage further exploration while raising awareness and funding for Astronomers without Borders, the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, and the SETI Institute. WeTransfer is providing $10,000 grants to each institution to initiate public donations, and the project will be commemorated in a $15 limited edition zine with 100% of generated revenues going to the non-profits above.

“WeTransfer came from the creative community, and as a company we embrace projects like the Voyager Golden Record to inspire us. We’ve collaborated with 40 individuals and organizations from over 20 countries to put this together, and we’re humbled by the people we’ve been able to work with,” says Stephen Canfield, WeTransfer’s VP of Marketing.

“We’ve had a strong commitment to arts and sciences since 2009, and this felt like a natural next step for us – closely collaborating with amazing people to tell a story that’s inspired so many. The Voyager Golden Record shows what we can do when we come together to create and share something bigger than us, and that feels like a welcome message in 2017. We hope others feel the same, and that we can use this to raise funding for more exploration and selfless acts of cultural diplomacy in the years to come.”

The chapters available include:

Preface: A comic of illustrations by Sophy Hollington telling the story and brief history of the original Golden Record.

1. Greetings: Wanda Díaz Merced, a blind astronomer who uses sonification to study interstellar events, presents a study of stars as heard on earth – with a selection of images curated by NASA’s Rebecca Roth.

2. Music: In video conversations between BBC 6 Radio’s Gilles Peterson and leading international musicians living in London, Peterson explores the global influences of contemporary sound. Each musician discusses how their music is influenced by their world locally and globally, paired with one-hour musical mixes from leading DJs from their home country. Musicians include Christian Scott, Nubya Garcia, DJ Edu, Jordan Rakei, Maft Sai, DJ Lefto, DJ Soul Sista, and Dengue Dengue Dengue, DJ Juls, Nai Palm, Fatima Al Qadiri, and Luzmira (of Family Atlantica) Zerpa.

3. Sounds: An interactive, custom-designed sound collage generator allows visitors to contribute their own unique sound to the project, using and manipulating sounds produced by S U R V I V E, the group best known for scoring Netflix’s Stranger Things.

4. Images: Photo essays from international photographers Chiara Goia, Albert Bonsfills, Luisa Dörr, Sasha Arutyunov, and Kent Andreasen focus on stories of hope, determination, and goodwill in the respective cities they call home.

5. Brainwaves: A series of 500-word pieces from artists, writers, and musicians explore the phrase “and somehow, somewhere, the record arrives…”. Contributors include Aspen Matis, Charlie Skelton, Deepak Chopra, Hannah Giorgis, John Saward, Lawrence Krauss, Musa Okwonga, Nelly Ben Hayoun, The Range, Sara-Kate Astrove, Shelly Oria and Vera Chok.

Epilogue: An animated video collaboration produced in response to the question “do we matter?”, with a musical score from Oneohtrix Point Never and Voyager short film by WeTransfer Studios.

Check out all the amazing material at A Message From Earth.

Larry Lootsteen

Music is life and I love to write about all things music. Independent music blogger. Writer in general. I am a big fan of alternative and indie music but there's no genre I haven't found something to like.

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