Sacha Jafri Will Send the First Official Artwork to the MoonWhere it will rest for eternity.
Art can be found in one form or another on nearly every corner of the planet. That’s not quite the case on the moon, however. But Sacha Jafri, the British-born, Dubai-based artist best known for creating The Journey of Humanity, which set the Guinness World Record for the largest canvas to sell at auction, is set to jettison a new artwork to the moon next month.
The work, entitled We Rise Together — By the Light of the Moon, is a gold alloy panel depicting two figures surrounded by 88 hearts. “The original artwork was this beautiful heart motif. Two figures entwined, reconnecting and around them is blossoming flora, fauna,” said Jafri in a previous interview, adding that he wants to capture “the unification of humanity through love and empathy” in his work.
Developed by the UK-based technology company, Spacebit, Jafri’s artwork will be sent via the United Launch Alliance rocket, which will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in the first week of March. The gold alloy has been developed over the last few years to be able to withstand the extreme conditions of space. “When we land the physical work of art on the moon, a little beep sounds in the control room,” said Jafri, which will simultaneously release 88 NFTs back for sale on Earth. All the proceeds will be donated to the “four main charitable concerns of our world — health, education, sustainability, and equality,” Jafri said.
The first of anything is a momentous occasion, especially when factoring the moon. While Jafri’s artwork is the first to land on the moon, it isn’t the first to have been launched into the vast cosmos of space. Back in 1977, NASA included a prescient time capsule on the Voyager 1 and 2 space probes in the form of “The Golden Record”. Contained within each were images and sounds that would provide any extraterrestrial life who came across it a glimpse at what life is like back on Earth. The sounds of birds and the crashing of waves, spoken languages throughout the history of civilization and images of highways and mathematical definitions are some of the many encoded within the record.
“The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space,” the acclaimed American astrophysicist Carl Sagan once noted. “But the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet.”
As the first official artwork to be installed on the lunar surface, We Rise Together — By the Light of the Moon feels like a missed opportunity to do something artistically beautiful and innovative, similar to “The Golden Record”. While the cause and the message are certainly commendable, the elementary composition of hearts feels a bit lackluster compared to the complex material it’s engraved on and its stage that is set against the grand expanse of space. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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