Graphite on paper, each 70 x 100, 2018-2019

Nowadays we would consider outer space to be the realm of science and astronomy, and inner-space to be the realm of fantasy and psychology. This was not always the case…human beings have been travelling to and exploring other planets and moons…for many centuries now; doing so not with rockets, but with nothing more technologically advanced than the powers of the human mind…

S. D. Tucker, Space Oddities, 2017

Looking at Saturn in the night sky, I thought about those other, technically closer encounters with remote, inhospitable places and the technical, physical, and mental exertions necessary to make them happen. I thought about the constraints of the vessels built to take only two or three humans on the last leg of those voyages.  I thought about the humans travelling inside, simultaneously standing in for the whole of humankind and yet sticking out as a minority. Like those travellers venturing inside, these vehicles also stand as examples of a kind of travel that has not become the norm of exploration but the exception.

Saturn is far too remote and groundless for such considerations. Quite literally, Saturn is all atmosphere, with no ground to land on, no horizon. But as the possibilities of manned trips to the Moon and Mars are again trending, the images of these vehicles act as reminders of the implications of such desires. And as Tucker reminds us, there have always been other ways and criteria with which to travel.

This work emerged as part of Uncalibrated, my PhD practice-led research responding to the unprocessed images from the Cassini mission to Saturn. The Cassini raw images are public and can be found here. To view more of my works connected to the PhD click here.

Specimens I, graphite on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 2018

Specimens II, graphite on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 2018

Specimens III, graphite on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 2018