This afternoon, we watched Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures launch into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. His gold disk full of 100 images encompass all of humanity—showing what we eat and how we play—and now, affixed to the EchoStar XVI, it will hang out for billions of years in the final frontier.
The launch was uneventful, minus a few live-streaming flubs, and now fulfills the dreams of many a child who wish to send a message in a bottle out to the unknown. Now we just have to wait and see if any aliens ever find our pictures! Without that, the lasting impact of The Last Pictures may simply be its price tag: the piece is one most expensive public art projects ever made, costing Creative Time hundreds of thousands of dollars [actual figures have yet to be released] and over half a decade spent in production.
So, congratulations! Space will never be the same.