The Voyager space mission team was tasked with the challenge of identifying what sounds and images encapsulated the story of human existence. They asked the question, what does it mean to be a human on Earth? Well…that’s a pretty big answer. At least that’s what we’ve been discovering in our process.
After playing with the physical sound making technology at the core of our residency to see how it worked, we dove into our research. Listening to the fantastic Radiolab podcast called “Where the Sun Don’t Shine” which told the beautiful story of Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan falling in love while creating the golden discs. We looked at Complicité’s Encounter and how we can be more creative with the ways we use sound to tell story. We looked at a replica of the golden records and listened to the entire contents to hear what was chosen to represent the human condition in a collection of sounds.
The material is fascinating and beautiful and hopeful. We tend to feel like romantics when we get into big philosophical questions about “why we are here?” Yet there’s the nihilistic part of all of us that also wonders what it’s all for. If we are here in this world for only so long, what does it matter if there are any remnants of our existence? Would anyone or anything who eventually finds the golden discs gain any value from discovering some vinyl from 1977? We don’t know… and it’s that very oscillation from optimism to pessimism that keeps us intrigued and wanting to know more.
- Sarah Rose