You Are Here: Projects of Earth

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 “Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us.”

—Carl Sagan in Pale Blue Dot, referencing a photo of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of 6 billion kilometers.

When the first Voyager space probe launched into orbit on August 20, 1977, forty years ago yesterday, it carried on board an exceptional artifact: the Voyager Golden Record. This “galactic greeting card” was designed by a team led by Carl Sagan to share scenes, sounds, music, and greetings from Earth — a metaphoric snapshot of humanity — with any far-off life forms who might discover it.

Today, millions of people will witness a rare solar eclipse. This cosmic event reminds us of something profound that’s often overlooked: we’re all together on this pale blue dot. Projects of Earth is a creative initiative inspired by this collective vision of humankind. Between August 20 and September 5 — the original launch dates of the two Voyager space probes — Kickstarter creators will launch projects that explore life and culture on Earth in 2017. Together, these projects will create a multifaceted portrait of our world today.

You can look forward to the following Projects of Earth:

Orbital Reflector 

In collaboration with the Nevada Museum of Art, artist Trevor Paglen is working with aerospace engineers to develop and launch a space-worthy reflective sculpture that will be visible in the night sky. Orbital Reflector is the first satellite to exist purely as an artistic gesture.

Trevor Paglen, Prototype for a Nonfunctional Satellite (Design 4; Build 4), 2013, Mixed media, 16 x 16 x 16 feet. Courtesy of Altman Siegel Gallery and Metro Pictures, 2013
Trevor Paglen, Prototype for a Nonfunctional Satellite (Design 4; Build 4), 2013, Mixed media, 16 x 16 x 16 feet. Courtesy of Altman Siegel Gallery and Metro Pictures, 2013

Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Artist and activist Ai Weiwei and the Public Art Fund are bringing a new exhibition to over 300 sites around New York City. Drawing on the artist’s personal experience being detained by the Chinese government and his visits with some of the world’s most vulnerable populations at refugee camps and borders worldwide, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors will make a statement about division and separation at a global, national, local, and personal level. 

Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is live now.

Chasing the Great American Eclipse

The new photobook from the creators of UnPresidented will capture the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse and humans' response to it around the U.S.

Chasing the Great American Eclipse is live now.

Propeller Group x San Jose Museum of Art

The San Jose Museum of Art will unveil a monumental mural featuring a portrait of a young refugee, created as a collaboration between Vietnam-based art collective The Propeller Group, Los Angeles street artist El Mac, and children’s author and artist Christopher Meyers.

One Earth Message: A Digital Voyager Golden Record 2.0

Jon Lomberg, the design director on the original Voyager Golden Record, wants to crowdsource a new message from Earth to the cosmos. He hopes to upload it to the computer on board NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in 2020.

One Earth Message: A Digital Voyager Golden Record 2.0 is live now.

ExoLife Finder: A New Telescope to Find Life on Exoplanets

The PLANETS Foundation is working to build a telescope capable of finding and imaging life on nearby exoplanets. 

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

In a new documentary, filmmaker Karen Johnson will explore how sound design shapes our experience of the world.

Rolly Crump: Projects Of A Whimsical Earth

This book will explore the depth and breadth of human imagination through the art of legendary designer and Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump.

Orrery Lamp: A Minimal, Dimmable Solar System

Part design object and part educational tool, this lamp allows you to calibrate the Earth and Moon to their exact positions around the Sun.

Orrery Lamp: A Minimal, Dimmable Solar System is live now.

Turtle Rover: World's First Earth Rover

With four wheels, an HD camera, and a robotic arm, this remote-controlled mobile robot and open platform can be programmed to explore any terrain.

Turtle Rover: World's First Earth Rover is live now.

The Dance Cartel Presents: Wet Clutch

In a groundbreaking drive-in experience, dancers will remix and reinterpret iconic female characters from the past four decades of Hollywood and cult cinema.

The Dance Cartel Presents: Wet Clutch is live now.

Thornwillow Press: Rainpaper Notebooks, Sun Spots, and The Good Earth

Independent publisher and book bindery Thornwillow Press plans to launch three new projects, each celebrating a different aspect of our planet. 

Thornwillow's Rainpaper Notebooks, Sun Spots: A Print Portfolio, and The Good Earth: A Broadside Portfolio are live now.

Discover live Projects of Earth — or share your take by starting your own.

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