Assessment Brief- Earth Artifact

Today we were set our new studio brief titled “Earth Artifact”. For this project, I am required to submit visual and written proposals for a new version of the “Golden Record”.  The structure of “artifact” however, can be very different to the way in which the “Golden Record” presented.  Therefore we should produce a more contemporary version and do so from whichever media desired, meaning we are not restricted to doing it a certain way. Like any project, we should be: promoting research, creative thinking, experimentation, semiotics and visual narrative.

The Voyager Golden Records were a set of phonograph records which were launched into Space in 1997.  The records contained sounds and images with the purpose to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, in the hope that it would come into contact with any intelligent extra-terrestrial life form, or other future humans. Carl Sagan described the project as more of a time capsule or “symbolic statement” rather then an actual attempt to communicate with extra-terrestrial life.

I see potential in this project for a strong recreation of the Voyager Golden Records as a new and interpreted Earth Artifact. I think the concept of the original project was less of an attempt to communicate with other life form, but a way of portraying what we know on Earth, as if it somebody is seeing it with fresh eyes. Looking at the original, the visuals are less effective, most likely due to the fact that it was probably run by scientists; however taking it from the perspective of a designer should create strong visuals to create this “Earth Artifact”.  I intend to research into this further to create some idea, however my initial idea was perhaps using information graphics- combing statistics and information with visuals.

“For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination.

We learned to talk, we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas enabling people to work together … to build the impossible.
Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking … and its greatest failures by not talking.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future with the technology at our disposal – the possibilities are unbounded. 

All we need to do is make sure we keep talking”.

-Stephen Hawking