Format 1: 132 x 202 cm / 52 x 79.5 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Format 2: 67 x 102 cm / 26.3 in x 40.2, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec, custom-made aluminium frame
The historic “Crew Dragon Demo-2“ Mission was launched on 30th of May 2020 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Nine years after the end of the Space Shuttle program for the first time an American rocket with a crewed spaceship launched from American soil to the International Space Station. Build by the commercial company SpaceX, the Crew Dragon capsule brought the 2 astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on a NASA mission to the ISS. For the first time a reusable launcher, the Falcon 9, was used for such a critical mission and for the first time a commercial provider send astronauts to the International Space Station. Lift-off took place from launchpad 39A, this historical pad was used for all Apollo moon missions and Space Shuttle launches. Recently people are talking about the beginning of a new era in space exploration, the so-called space renaissance. The “Crew Dragon Demo-2“ mission can be considered as a milestone of this new era. The spaceship´s futuristic interior design, the blue glowing interactive screens and the sharp looking white space suits of the astronauts also mark the beginning of a new visual aesthetic in human spaceflight. Many of these details remember Stanley Kubrick´s visionary movie 2001 – A Space Odyssey.
The composition of the artwork “crew dragon“ merges several photographs from NASA and SpaceX archives. It includes all relevant components of the mission, e.g. the two astronauts, the futuristic space suits, the blue shimmering touch panels, the capsule, the launch tower with its mobile bridge, the launch itself and the ISS. The original drawing of the Orion III spaceship from the Space Odyssey movie is placed on one of the screens. The circle segment on the bottom visualizes the start sequence and encodes the launch date. The palimpsest-like layering and the different levels of transparency of the picture elements dissolve in a soft, cloud-like digital brushstroke. The complex visual composition is inspired by Michelangelo´s famous painting “The Creation of Adam“, widely considered as a key work of the Italian Renaissance. The center of the image highlights the hand of an astronaut holding a pen. All compositional alignments run into this focus point. The writing and painting hand symbolizes the human ability to create. It also visualizes the artistic process behind the creation of the artwork “crew dragon“.