Golden Record


Acrylic on compact audio cassette

64 x 101 x 18 mm
3600 seconds


This cassette is based on the gold-plated audio-visual discs that both of the Voyager spacecrafts carry.
Launched into space in 1977, these 'Golden Records' contain basic information on Earth and its inhabitants, greetings in 55 languages, idiosyncratic earthly and human sounds, a recording of brain waves generated by the creative director of the record meditating on several distinctive human topics, and famous music pieces including Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Louis Armstrong's Melancholy Blues. Attached to the outer shell of the spacecraft, the disk's outer face displays a pictographic manual for playing the record.

Because it was part of a mobile exhibition space, intended to have its seven counterparts travel simultaneously to unknown places at the discretion of their respective carriers, the parallel with the golden record was easily made: communicating a singular and basic introductory idea to unknown addressees.

On the one side, the tape contains 12 images (see images below) - one image of a simple figure to calibrate the signal of the audio; a collection of 10 artworks by different artists including myself, that I thought communicated my personal concept of human culture, human character and of art itself, and one abstract self-portrait.
The converted images can be listened to here. The result sounds like an alien message.

The other side is filled with a sequence of virtual field recordings.

Among the images below is the warped reinterpretation of the signal of Dürer's Melancolia I. The image sound was recorded and converted back into an image a year after the original recording. This gives a good impression of the amount of noise that is introduced during the process and due to deterioration.