Comments Off on Space Race: A Series Of History Inspired Posters by Justin Van Genderen readSpace Suit of the Week
The history of the Space Race may be one of the most fascinating endeavors of our life times. Just the idea of travelling to space seems unfathomable, but we managed to do it. Designer Justin Van Genderen made a series of beautiful posters chronicling the journey from an American perspective, six in total, portraying the efforts of the Apollo, Mercury and Gemini missions. I’m not sure which ones I like better. There’s the highly stylized typography one, or the more information based posters which feel more scientific in nature. You can grab one for yourself by clicking here.
Price Peterson‘s Astronaut series is a clash between Stuart Little and King of the Hill that perfectly rolls into a charming portrait of an Americana astronaut. Peterson’s astronauts (#1-3) take flight and get a ‘buzz’ in a method that is more conventional to a gravity controlled figures such as ourselves.
German photographer Jan von Holleban takes inspiration from storybooks and heroic fantasies to create living dioramas in his 2002 – 2008 series “Dreams of Flying. With the help of local neighborhood children, von Holleban creates scenes that fitful all childhood aspirations and dreams. Here’s to dreaming big in 2013!
Bill Finger’s Ground Control, a work-in-progress photograph series of miniature dioramas, explores the themes of braving the journey to the last frontier and humanizing the effort of placing boots on Martian soil. The series came out of Finger’s fascination of the idea that travelling to Mars would be a one-way trip. A sacrifice of earthly existence and all previous known ways of life. The next humans to venture outward will need to be someone bold and unlike any that have previously wandered outside of our stratosphere. The space colonizer cast in Finger’s constructed scenes have the desire to make the mystical trip but with no specific skills to allow him/her to do so. But someone has to do it.
Everyone loves space suits, but has anyone tried to catalog the use of them in popular media. Editor Keith Melton decided to take a stab at it, creating a supercut of around 50 films showcasing space suits from around the last 50 or 60 years. While the song may be a bit distracting, it’s quite interesting to see the diverse ideas costumers have had about space suits. Some in the video are more traditional, NASA-esque suits, while some designs are pretty out there.
President Kennedy & President Johnson are fondly remembered for their contributions to the US Space Program; they each have a respective NASA Center named in their honor. Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter is not similarly remembered, although as a vocal activist for global peace and democracy, he looks quite appropriate suited up and ready to forge the last frontier. Here Carter is immortalized in shades of blue and grey.
In this rendition, his blue eyes are clear and piercing. Instantaneously they reminded me of The Blue Marble shot of the Earth taken by Apollo 17 in 1972 during Carter’s Presidential term. That photograph is one of the most distributed and celebrated images in history: the Planetary Institute presented a short on the ‘Overview Effect’ on the 40th Anniversary of describing the experience of seeing Earth from Space and its profound effect on conveying the interconnection of all life on Earth.
That blue and white swirling marble is a delicate place in the vast emptiness of the universe: here we need more individuals like President Carter advocating to make it a better place.
ps. I stumbled across this space faring Carter a while back–I am unable to locate and give credit to the creator. Dear Internet, do you know who created me?
There are those days that you feel outside of yourself–your mind is elsewhere and you’re unable to stay grounded. Daydreams lift our minds in the clouds and we are transported from the moment. In his series ALIENation, Italian photographer Graziano Panfili’s captures these drifters- the ones “that have big dreams.” They are alien to their surroundings. And we’ve all been there.
Ame72, Jaime Ame, is a self-proclaimed modern day pop artist. Taking to both the street and gallery, the graffiti artist uses his cans of spray paint to create isolated portraits of moonmen in Technicolor. The Lego man whose hair and hat can be interchanged at a moments notice to become a businessman, cowboy or space ranger are mass-produced playtoys. They are seen as symbols of abundance and consumerism. But the astronaut at least in our eyes (see Week 1-112 of TFIB’s Space of the Week) is a archetype of artistic creativity, where the bounds of creativity go well beyond the stratosphere. Repetition can only reinforce such.
I always wished that NASA sent an civilian artist into outer space, so they could tell us what its really like up there. To really know what it was like to be a civilian gazing back at that pale blue dot is a grandiose effort.
The ability to translate the experience of floating above earth takes special skill. I am currently rooting for Portland State University Professor Cameron Smith. This Professor of Anthropology in the Pacific Northwest has built a fully functional space suit in his living room. He will use it to reach the lower stratosphere via balloon, approximately 50,000 feet above our humble vantage point. With a DIY manifest destiny sort of feel to it, Smith has taken it upon himself to be part of this human experience of hovering above planet earth. Smith has constructed a fully operational space suit with salvaged materials and finds from EBay. Hopefully an anthropologist can relay back the human experience of floating above.
Only a few months ago we mourned the loss of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the face of the moon. Possibly in commemoration, Tom Buch transforms the likeness of the patriot with speckles of the galaxy and waves of the Sea of Tranquility filling out his complexion.
An ode to the first man to walk on the moon and the historic achievement. I modelled a young Neil Armstrong in Zbrush. I aimed to to apply the surface textures from the moon and earth in Cinema4D. I later created a moon scene in C4D. Photoshop was used for colour correction and final touches of digital paint.
Armstrong, the only civilian to fly in the Apollo missions, had the mind of a philosopher and the heart of a poet. His now famous transmissions back to Houston, reporting “The Eagle has wings” when the landing module departed from the CSM or “One small step…” when taking the first steps of his lunar ballet, were a trademark of his focused, artistic soul. I have seen few portraits of Armstrong that have captured this spirit, it is no small feat. But for a hero whose feet have gone where no man has gone before, it is only appropriate.