The Golden Record: gold data visualisations from Voyager
Launched in 1977, each Voyager probe carried a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk into space.
The Golden Record contains sounds and images portraying the diversity of life on Earth, communicating a story of our world to extraterrestrials.
Now, in 2017, we bring the cover of The Golden Record home, with data visualisations of the audio tracks, reproduced as limited edition silkscreen prints.
The Golden Record
The Voyager Golden Records are phonograph records, which contain sounds and images demonstrating the diversity of life on Earth. The records were included aboard Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft. We have used the following sounds to create our data visualisations:
Greetings to the Universe
Spoken greetings in 55 languages.
Sounds of Earth
Including the sound of rain, animals and insects, Morse Code and more.
Music From Earth
From the classical composer Mozart to Aborigine songs, Music From Earth contained Eastern and Western classics and a variety of ethnic music.
2017 Data Visualisations and Original Cover Artwork
Using time data generated by all sounds from The Golden Record, we have produced two data visualisations: one is a spiral-shaped object, mimicking the 12-inch disc; the other is a square made from strips of data. Printed in gold ink on fine paper stocks, these serves as partners to a reproduction of the original cover.
Using traditional, hand-pulled, silkscreen printing processes each design is lovingly crafted into a limited edition A2 print, signed and numbered by the artists. Although the handmade process leads to tiny imperfections, this is part of what makes each print unique.
Initially our target is to raise enough to cover a run of silkscreen prints. However, with enough support, we're hoping to offer backers artwork stamped with metallic gold foil. Foil printing is very expensive, so this is not something we may be able to offer for all prints.
Intended to mimic the shape and movement of a 12-inch record, this data visualisation uses audio tracks from the golden record and presents them in a linear spiral.
This square version uses exactly the same data set as the spiral, but presents each audio track as a series of patterned strips.
THE ORIGINAL COVER
Alongside the data visualisations, we are reproducing artwork from The Golden Record's cover using the original illustrations.
James is a graphic designer from Sheffield, with experience working for some of the most reputable design agencies in the north of England. Whether it's minimal Star Trek posters or branding for start-ups, James has a knack for producing striking work.
Silkscreen printing is a traditional, versatile technique that uses mesh to create a stencil for artists to print their work onto almost any surface. Ink is 'pushed' through the stencil by hand using a squeegee, leaving a beautiful finish.
COLORPLAN PAPER by GF SMITH
Founded in 1885, GF Smith have a deserved reputation for quality. The paper used for each Golden Record print is from the Colorplan range, a premium uncoated stock used by artists and designers all over the world. Launched in 1972, Colorplan is a British-made, iconic paper with a wonderful texture and superb colours.
Stretch Goal — Foil Stamping
If the campaign raises enough funds, we'll offer backers the option to own artwork stamped with gold foil. These will still be limited edition.
Please note: due to the high costs involved in foil stamping, we may not be able to offer this finish for all prints.
We understand many people prefer a rougher, hand-crafted feel, so we're hoping to offer backers a choice between the two.
This stretch goal is dependent on raising funds for two different print processes (£1,750 per design - over £5,000 to produce all three designs as silkscreen and foil options). Backers will be offered a refund if we cannot fulfill their preferred choice of finish.
Risks and challenges
The main challenge is reaching the goal, which is set to cover costs for printing, packaging and postage. Alex and James have lots of experience working with commercial printers, and great care is taken to make sure each print is of the highest quality.
Hand-pulled silk-screen printing takes a steady hand, a keen eye, and a lot of preparation and effort — these cannot be churned out overnight. However we expect all orders to be delivered within six weeks of the campaign deadline.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)