A new project by artists Cath Le Couteur and Nick Ryan have people feeling sorry for space junk. Some are adopting the lonely Vanguard, which will be orbiting for another 240 years. Others are lining up to hear the haunting sounds of each of the 27,000 pieces of junk as they pass overhead. The project is named Adrift, and uses different tactics to get the problem of space junk some air time. The humorous method of “adoption” is actually the choice of following three different pieces of space junk on Twitter. Expect rather sensitive updates, anything from talking about the future of Mali to the boisterous “I was here first” sort of comment. The audio method of arousing interest is done with the electro-mechanical Machine 9, which supposedly has sounds created by earthly debris sourced by citizen scientists. Have fun guessing the origins of the creaks and echoes.
Of course the main method for knowledge sharing is a short video art piece which nicely ties together the beauty of space with the absurdity and danger of space junk. Between the humor, the project’s Twitter feed offers real progress on the issue coming from space agencies around the world, as well as entrepreneurs. Solutions range from Pac Man style cube-sats to large nets. The point is, until more people start working on solutions, the junk continues to be a danger for space travel. I’m definitely encouraging you to visit the project as it is a great example of art for social change. It puts the space junk in the driver’s seat and plays on people’s fear of loneliness and danger in a fun way.
While I can’t offer you a perfect world here, I can offer some more thought provoking music. Check out Infinity Shred’s Long Distance. We’ve got it on vinyl, or you can stream or get a free download from Bandcamp. Here’s the description: “Two parts sci-fi tinged post rock, one part progressive trance, with equal touches of black metal and dystopian church music mixed in, Infinity Shred’s album Long Distance is the kind of music that defies any classification besides intensely futuristic.” It’s music to fly drones by or music to heighten your afternoon coffee break. Go explore.