Golden Record

recording

acrylic on compact audio cassette

64 x 101 x 18 mm
13802 seconds

2014

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.
I recorded 12 images on the tape's one side (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 my virtual field recordings.

Among the images below is the warped reinterpretation of the signal of Dürer's Melancolia I.

Additional images:
Calibration reticle
Mark Rothko - Orange and Purple
Glyph (Rosetta Stone print)
Gabriel Orozco - Black Kites
Self-portrait (nude)
Wilhelm Sasnal - Anka
Matthew Day-Jackson - August 6th, 1945 (Gorky/ Nizhny Novgorod) (detail)
Caspar David Friedrich - Das Eismeer
Hilla & Bernd Becher - Zeche Hannover 1/2/5, Bochum-Hordel, Ruhrgebiet
Joseph Beuys - I Like America and America Likes Me (still)
Masaccio - Santa Trinità
Albrecht Dürer - Melencolia I (extract)
Reinterpretation of Dürer's polyhedron