Space Junk: excavating the Tiziou Space History "museum"
For space geeks everywhere: a son explores & shares his journalist father's incredible collection of aerospace archives & collectibles.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, April 1 2019 6:45 PM UTC +00:00.
UPDATE: What does a box of space junk look like?
Emily of the Space Hipsters FB group got a sample box of Space Junk... watch the video above to see what she found... & then back this project to get your own from Jacques' collection....
This is a project about space exploration...
...through the exploration of a space dedicated to space...
and the telling of its buried stories.
And maybe, just maybe... arranging for a burial in space.
With your help, I'm creating a memorial tribute to aerospace journalist Jacques Tiziou (1939-2017) and saving his amazing collection of space junk in the process and sharing it all with you.
- Who was Jacques? The biggest space geek ever w/ front row seats to historic times
- What is his "museum"? An amazing collection of aerospace history archives & relics
- What is this project all about? An artist son documenting & memorializing the life of his documenter father, getting to know him through the things he left behind, sharing his passion for all things space & finding ways to preserve his collection. And maybe, just maybe... launching some of Jacques' ashes into space.
- What's in it for you? By helping me build a memorial & documentary record of my father's life & collection, and helping me respect Jacques' wishes & honor his legacy, you can get unique up close glimpses of this process & stories through new images & blog posts, an online media archive, invites to special events and even get your own box of space junk!
WHO WAS JACQUES TIZIOU?
In brief, Jacques was one of the biggest space geeks ever.
He was friends with all the astronauts, and recognized by NASA as one of The Chroniclers:
"In recognition of your many contributions to the public understanding of the space program through your work at the Kennedy Space Center. Working in concert with communicators in every medium, the excellence of your career has provided knowledge, ideas and inspiration world wide."
Jacques was a Journalist, Engineer, Photographer, Archivist, Writer, Collector, TV&Radio personality... and father.
That's me in the picture, now tasked with sorting out the aftermath of his life and learning about him through what he left behind...
WHAT IS THE "MUSEUM"?
The "museum" is my strange inheritance:
Jacques was an archivist & collector, and amassed a prodigious collection of relics from the space age.
- Document archives & press clippings
- Vintage NASA prints & mission charts
- Space-flown items & astronaut signatures
- Fragments of spaceship materials
- Stickers, pins & patches & vintage clothing
- other amazing ephemera...
This is just scratching the surface:
Even back in 1976, the "museum" was an overwhelming amount of treasure that required the help of a community to relocate... now I'm turning to you to help with its next move.
Here's the reality:
Jacques wasn't just a collector: he was a hoarder, and gradually as he became overwhelmed, his collection became buried and jumbled in piles of old newspapers and the like.
The project of learning about him and this exciting era through what he left behind is a daunting one: I've been finding old family photographs and amazing bits of aerospace history, and countless documents that give insights into his life & experience of this exciting age, but the treasure is buried amongst trash and it's a lot to sort out.
There are broader lessons here: Jacques was at the forefront of the media age: building a personal brand as a freelancer, creating & archiving media, sharing & commenting on the news, and becoming overwhelmed by the abundance of all of it, which became too much.
I feel so many parallels to this in my own life as I've struggled with many of the same issues, so part of this project of learning about him is about helping me learn more about myself.
SO WHO AM I?
Hi – My name's JJ.
Given that my father took me to shuttle launches and had entire graduating classes of astronauts coming over for dinner parties at his house to check out his museum, it's probably not a surprise that when I was a little kid I wanted to become an astronaut.
And like him, I became a photographer, although my path has led me in different directions: from photographic stories & series to public art projects rooted in the philosophy that everyone is photogenic.
My 85,000 sqft How Philly Moves mural at PHL International Airport was recognized as one of the nation’s best public art projects by Americans for the Arts. I host house concerts and I've walked the full perimeter of Philadelphia four times. Most recently, I've devoted my energy to community organizing around unjust evictions happening on my block in Philly.
And here on Kickstarter, I've successfully raised over $25k from 617 backers for my How Philly Moves project, raised over $5k in just 5 days from 148 backers to photograph the March for Rights, Respect & Fair Food, and raised over $38k in pledges from 870 backers for my Everyone Is Photogenic project, while backing 175 other projects to support this creative community.
But that's just some stuff that I do, it doesn't tell you who I am... that's a question that I'm still working on. I'm hoping that, by helping me learn about where I came from, this project can help me work out some those answers.
Growing up, I didn't feel like I knew my father very well, because he was always so busy with his work.
Now, in the aftermath of his life, this project is an opportunity for me to learn more about who my father was through the things that he left behind, while processing some grief and continuing evolving in my own work and creative practice, while sharing his love of space with the world.
And hopefully, together, we're going to launch some of his ashes to space...
WHERE WE'RE AT:
This has been a heck of a project so far.
It's taken over a year just to clear out the other junk in order to be able to access all of the space stuff.
Much like debris in orbit poses collision risks, the amount of stuff piled up in Jacques' house made it perilous to access the archives. Picture a 9ft Uhaul cargo van, and know that I've filled it completely with old newspaper FIVE TIMES for trips to the recycling center, and that dumpster got filled to the brim!
After getting the collections somewhat accessible, I gave archivists from the NASA archives & National Air & Space Museum first pick at the collection. They took a bunch of documents but there is so much left to go through.
It's taken so much of my time, and of my friends', and I'm running out of time and energy. Without your help, all of the cool space stuff may just end up in the dumpster.
THIS PROJECT'S TRAJECTORY:
I'm trying to balance several things with this project...
- Learning about Jacques' life
- Learning about the history of the space program
- Honoring my father's' legacy & wishes
- Managing my own time & resources
- Preserving valuable historic documents
- Making his archives accessible
- Delighting space geeks everywhere
- Saving things from the landfill
What I need from you:
- Financial support to make this project fly
- Help sharing Jacques' stories & archives with space fans everywhere
- Crowdsourced knowledge to help me figure out what some of the items are & where they should go
What I'm offering you:
- A chance to help create a memorial tribute to a pivotal figure of aerospace journalism
- A chance to help save this collection & get it to the right homes
- A backstage look into the process & discoveries in this treasure trove
- A collection of unique stories, media & archives
- A chance to be the first to know about opportunities where we sell some of the collection and give some of it away
- Invites to some special memorial events
- Some pretty cool rewards, including a chance for space junk of your own
And maybe, just maybe, we'll launch his ashes into space.
BUDGETS & TIMELINES:
As you might gather, space programs are expensive.
I've already invested over $30k to get to this point (my time, helpers, boxes, van rentals, dumpster, etc etc) – and it's going to take a bunch more to finish working through the rest of the collections, memorialize Jacques' legacy and move the "museum" into its final orbit.
My project portfolio from my community and artistic practices and past experiences on Kickstarter should convince you that this is a reasonable proposition worthy of your investment. And then the rewards are pretty exciting!
Base threshold: $30k – PROJECT LAUNCH
Your support helps me devote the time & get the help that I need to preserve Jacques’ legacy & get these treasures to new homes while memorializing him through an art project and creating community around this work.
Stretch goal #1: $45k – ADVANCED ARCHIVE
Reaching this goal would give me more resources to expand the digital archive: I could hire someone to sort through the giant volume hard drives that he left behind, and do additional digitization of old negatives and documents.
Stretch goal #2: $60k – EXPLORATION MUSEUM in ICELAND!
If we hit this goal, I'll personally deliver some items from the collection to the Exploration Museum in Iceland along with a gift letter on behalf of all of the project backers. This small museum, located near where the Apollo astronauts trained, is devoted to the history of human exploration. A contact there has expressed interest in some of Jacques' collection, and by the time this project is done, I'll be grateful to have a pretext for a vacation! I will record a video of me thanking every single backer from the same place the astronauts trained.
Stretch goal #3: $75k – ASHES TO SPACE!
$100k & beyond: Jacques' dreams + mine
Jacques' wanted this collection to be my inheritance, and was convinced of its' value.
Right now I'm not sure if my desire to honor his wishes, tell his stories & preserve his collections will prove to be just a giant suck of time and energy. It'd be nice to at least break even – but if we can raise $100k or more, I'll have not only covered all of my costs but also raised a decent chunk of money.
I'll use this in a few ways:
- Hiring someone to do even more digitization, creating employment for a neighbor in need
- Using these resources to continue to support my artistic & community practices
- Sharing some of this privileged inheritance directly with my less fortunate neighbors who've been unjustly evicted from their homes on my block.
End of March: Campaign funded!
April: Excavation of the basement, preparation of first physical rewards. Special in-person event.
May: Preparation of memorial content & exhibit, preliminary digital archive, next round of physical rewards & events.
June & beyond: distribution of remaining archives & collections, additional scanning & data mining as budget allows.
Risks and challenges
One challenge will be tapping into the right audience:
I've already got a good sized audience from my photography, public art & community work, but they're not space-focused.
But we know that the audience for this project is out there: we'll need your help to reach the networks of space geeks who'd be delighted by these artifacts & want to help save them, get the stories told & get their hands on a part of the collection!
One of the greatest risks here is taking too much time getting lost in all of the amazing artifacts and cool objects that we're uncovering. Each one has a story, and we could spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars building a detailed catalogue of Jacques' "Museum" – but the goal here is isn't to build a collection, it's to save one by disseminating to folks who'll love it and help continue on Jacques' legacy. With your help we can do it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!