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For space geeks everywhere: a son explores & shares his journalist father's incredible collection of aerospace archives & collectibles.
For space geeks everywhere: a son explores & shares his journalist father's incredible collection of aerospace archives & collectibles.
140 backers pledged $30,380 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Space Junk: excavating the Tiziou Space History "museum"

$30,380

140

UPDATE: What does a box of space junk look like?

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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....

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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. 

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QUICK SUMMARY:

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!

––– MORE––– 

WHO WAS JACQUES TIZIOU?

Jacques Tiziou interviews Gene Cernan for French TV, 1972
Jacques Tiziou interviews Gene Cernan for French TV, 1972

In brief, Jacques was one of the biggest space geeks ever.

Jacques had front row seats to one of the most exciting periods of human history, as humankind began it's reach for the stars...
Jacques had front row seats to one of the most exciting periods of human history, as humankind began it's reach for the stars...
An entire generation of French-speakers grew up with Jacques' voice on TV and radio recounting the exciting stories coming out of the US space program...
An entire generation of French-speakers grew up with Jacques' voice on TV and radio recounting the exciting stories coming out of the US space program...
Jacques on a ladder to get a high angle shot over the crowd as the Apollo 16 crew head to the launchpad...
Jacques on a ladder to get a high angle shot over the crowd as the Apollo 16 crew head to the launchpad...
Jacques hanging out with Gene Cernan, the last man to have walked on the moon...
Jacques hanging out with Gene Cernan, the last man to have walked on the moon...

He was friends with all the astronauts, and recognized by NASA as one of The Chroniclers:

Jacques in front of the wall that bears his name in the Kennedy Space Center press site. His plaque is the last one in the upper right.
Jacques in front of the wall that bears his name in the Kennedy Space Center press site. His plaque is the last one in the upper right.
Jacques' award from the director of the Kennedy Space Center
Jacques' award from the director of the Kennedy Space Center

"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."

At the Kennedy Space Center for the Orion Test Launch in 2014, a few years before Jacques' life came to a close.
At the Kennedy Space Center for the Orion Test Launch in 2014, a few years before Jacques' life came to a close.

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"?

A glimpse of Jacques' basement file room...
A glimpse of Jacques' basement file room...

The "museum" is my strange inheritance:

Jacques was an archivist & collector, and amassed a prodigious collection of relics from the space age.  

It includes:

  • 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:

Walls full of vintage prints, signed by the astronauts...
Walls full of vintage prints, signed by the astronauts...
Tons of old reels...
Tons of old reels...
Thousands of old pins, patches, stickers, collectibles of all sorts...
Thousands of old pins, patches, stickers, collectibles of all sorts...
... and "space bits"... pieces of spaceships & space-flown materials that Jacques loved to share.
... and "space bits"... pieces of spaceships & space-flown materials that Jacques loved to share.
A flyer designed by Jacques' friend Jean-Luc Beghin recruiting helpers to "move the JTNS [Jacques Tiziou News Service] Aerospace Museum into a New Orbit"...
A flyer designed by Jacques' friend Jean-Luc Beghin recruiting helpers to "move the JTNS [Jacques Tiziou News Service] Aerospace Museum into a New Orbit"...

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' basement desk as he left it...
Jacques' basement desk as he left it...

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?

Baby picture, with stylish red pants and an astronaut buddy
Baby picture, with stylish red pants and an astronaut buddy

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. 

Like father, like son...
Like father, like son...

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.

At it's root, this is a project about a father and a son and the space between them...
At it's root, this is a project about a father and a son and the space between them...

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:

The collection isn't just space stuff... my friend Kelcy got excited by some of the airplane & helicopter documents...
The collection isn't just space stuff... my friend Kelcy got excited by some of the airplane & helicopter documents...

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. 

So much junk was in the way...  and some real cool space negatives from the 50s almost ended up in this dumpster because Jacques had mixed up so much of his stuff that it takes careful triage just to separate out the space stuff ...
So much junk was in the way... and some real cool space negatives from the 50s almost ended up in this dumpster because Jacques had mixed up so much of his stuff that it takes careful triage just to separate out 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!

Teams from the NASA Archives & National Air & Space Museum have gotten first pick at some of the documents, but there's so much left to deal with...
Teams from the NASA Archives & National Air & Space Museum have gotten first pick at some of the documents, but there's so much left to deal with...

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:

Little baby JJ preparing to launch a rocket at the Goddard Space Flight Center
Little baby JJ preparing to launch a rocket at the Goddard Space Flight Center

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!

If we hit this goal, we'll send some of Jacques' ashes to space via Celestis or Elysium – He would have loved this, and it would be a fantastic way to celebrate having 

$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. 

TIMELINE

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!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    STARGAZER: updates & first to know

    You'll get all of the updates on the project and stories about Jacques' life & JJ's exploration of his "museum", and your contribution will help save this collection & make sure it gets to the right homes.

    You'll be the first to know what's happening with the museum via EXCLUSIVE BACKER UPDATES – This includes chances to help suggest landing destinations for some parts of the collection & opportunities to bid on specialty items put up for sale.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    SPUTNIK: space postcard

    You'll get a special space-related postcard from the project custom stamped with Jacques' signature in the mail as a special thank you, plus all of the updates!

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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    ARCHIVE: the above + archive access!

    You'll get updates, a postcard, and access to a digital repository of images & videos from the triage process for a close up look at the kinds of things we're discovering in the collection...

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    Reward no longer available 11 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EXPLORER: envelope of space junk!

    Congratulations! You get an envelope of Space Junk that will include additional project postcards, at least one vintage NASA print, and a commemorative envelope. Plus all the project updates!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    MERCURY: medium box of Space Junk!

    You'll get a special payload of 0.353 cubic feet of Space Junk! This medium flat-rate USPS box will come loaded with postcards, vintage nasa prints, a commemorative envelope, a pin, patch or button or coin, and whatever else we can cram in there!

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    Reward no longer available 26 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    GEMINI: large box of Space Junk!

    0.521 cubic feet of Space Junk is launching directly your way. This large flat-rate USPS box will come loaded with the same kind of stuff as the MERCURY reward, only *more* of it! PLUS, we'll put in one singular item of Space Junk ephemera – a special space tchotchke just for you. You'll also get updates and archive access, of course.

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    Reward no longer available 38 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    APOLLO: large box + framed print

    You'll be over the moon when you receive this large box of Space Junk – similar to the GEMINI reward, with a special BONUS: one of the framed prints from Jacques' office. PLUS: A space bit! – one of the small fragments of spacecraft or flown material custom bagged and labeled by Jacques that he loved to share with space enthusiasts like you.

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    Reward no longer available 15 backers
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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    APOLLO+SOYUZ: take your pick

    You only get one shot to make this special connection: This limited (1) reward is same as the APOLLO box, but you get to choose which framed print you get from a selection of Jacques' collection. There are some nice signed ones to choose from!

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Funding period

- (32 days)