Artifact Title: Golden Record

Medium: Audio/visual

Creator: Items selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University

Video Length: 1:50:02

Video Title: Voyager Golden Record.Complete version audio and images.

Upload Year: 2015

Platform: Youtube

Uploader: beatplaysTV

Screenshot in Image: 0:01
Image Credit: Daphne Moss

TERA Curator: Nadia Huggins

Golden Record

In 1977, NASA placed an ambitious message aboard Voyager 1 and 2, a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials. The Voyager message is carried by a phonograph record, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. It can be considered an art object meant to represent earth to alien life forms. Even the simplification of the designs on the record itself is art, how they have tried to position earth and the solar system to create a sense of scale about where we are located and then the representation of things from atoms to mathematical equations to animals, to movement and dance and the human body. Why were these images and sounds arranged in this particular order? Now we have this object circulating in space and, if something sort of comes into contact with it, this is literally the only representation of who we are. It’s something that concerns our artistic practice too. For example, what type of image of the Caribbean does the Caribbean-based artist want to live on in a hundred years? For somebody in the future thinking back on this moment in time, are we creating representations in a responsible way? Who has control and who has authorship at the end of the day over the images and sounds being put into the world?