A Message to the Unknown
On November 20, Art Fag City posted an article highlighting the realization of SAIC alumnus Trevor Paglen’s (MFA 2002) project The Last Pictures and its complicated trip to fruition. Contributor and fellow alum Corinna Kirsch (MA 2009) explains Paglen curated a disk containing 100 images that “encompass all of humanity—showing what we eat and how we play” and sent it into space attached to the EchoStar XVI where “it will hang out for billions of years in the final frontier.” Kirsch notes The Last Pictures is among the most expensive public art projects ever created, “costing Creative Time hundreds of thousands of dollars and over half a decade spent in production.” On October 1, Christian L. Frock of the Los Angeles NPR affiliate KQED described the complicated obstacles and intricacies involved in the effort, which necessitated input from an interdisciplinary council of experts. The project, Frock states, “engaged hundreds of creative thinkers, including material scientists, aerospace engineers, philosophers, and anthropologists, among others. An extensive number of cultural specialists consulted on the project, from a curator at the Yale University Babylonian Collection to the curator of Messages in a Bottle at the Turks & Caicos National Museum in the Caribbean.” Paglen was also recently profiled in an eight-page article in the New Yorker.