World Science Festival Sends Greetings from Earth
Writer, artist, and musician Claire L. Evans produced this simple and moving introduction to this year's World Science Festival, held in New York City from June 2 through June 6. Evans explains her intentions behind the stark and repetitive imagery:
In 1977, taking advantage of a fortuitous alignment of planets, NASA dispatched two spacecraft named Voyager into space. These probes, now the farthest human-made objects from Earth, carry with them a unique recording, the Voyager Golden Record. Compiled by a team under Dr. Carl Sagan, the Golden Record holds images and sounds, ranging from pulsar beeps to x-ray photographs, the songs of whales and human heartbeats. In addition, the Golden Record holds spoken greetings from the people of Earth, recorded in 55 languages both dead and alive.
This video montage is a meditation on these recordings, our loneliness, and the herculean, courageous task of SETI. The now-distant voices — all of whom make statements of earnest peace, curiosity, and goodwill, our best human attributes — are paired with images of the night sky from their countries of origin. It seems they are shouting out into the void; indeed, the people on the Golden Record (and perhaps our entire civilization) will be long gone by the time the Voyager probes pass within range of another star system.This is a far cry from the usual sort of thing we post here, but (as cheesy as it sounds) sometimes it's important to just sit back and quietly reflect on our place in the universe. I recommend watching full screen with the volume turned up (or headphone on) for the complete effect. You can also see more video from the World Science Festival (including fascinating panel discussions and lectures) on Vimeo.