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*starship

2023

4k video, single channel, stereo, 11:45 min.

In the summer of 2019, a strange-looking vehicle took off from the Texan spaceport, Starbase. The "Starhopper" – a prototype of SpaceX’s next-generation launch system – had the appearance of a welded metal can on three legs and reached a height of 150 meters using the new Raptor engine. Just a year later, the Starhopper had transformed into the “Starship”, the largest spacecraft ever built by humans. This spacecraft is being constructed by Elon Musk, whose stated goal is bring humanity to Mars. The new prototype performed flight maneuvers at greater altitudes, especially the controlled horizontal descent, but it exploded upon landing. Musk walked thoughtfully through the debris on the launchpad. There were subsequent developments in technology and design, and three more test flights exploded in attempts to land the Starship upright. Finally, in the spring of 2021, the first vertical landing was successful, two years after the initial hop of a small metal can. Two more years later, in spring 2023, the complete 120-meter-tall Starship launch system stood on the launchpad, ready for its first orbital test flight. After a successful launch, the rocket began to wobble at an altitude of 30 kilometers, with some engines damaged at liftoff. Four minutes after takeoff, the Starship was detonated by its self-destruct systems. The next version of the Mars spacecraft is already in the hangar.

The video work "*starship" showcases the developmental phases of the largest spacecraft ever built by humans, which is intended to eventually take us to Mars and make us a bi-planetary species. In the opening sequence of the video work, we are already at our destination, approaching the Martian surface. This raises the question of when this vision will become a reality. When will the first human set foot on Mars? In the subsequent sequences, we observe the Starship in its development. Launch after launch, it takes off, only to be torn into pieces time and time again. The Icarus tragedy repeats itself constantly. In the final sequence, the massive spacecraft majestically ascends into space, climbing higher and higher, only to end as a fireball in the sky. Mars is still a distant goal. In the famous opening sequence in Stanley Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey," a bone from the Stone Age transforms into a spacecraft with a single cut, representing a significant evolutionary leap. The development phases of the Starship can be seen as a historical phase in the evolutionary development of our technologically driven civilization. The Starship surpasses all previous achievements in the history of space exploration in terms of innovation, boldness, and vision. One day, it will lead us to Mars.

Sound design by Moritz Weber

Imprint

Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

Design concept & coding: Matthias Hübner, possible.is
with support by Marco Land

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