The night sky is dark, not a single star visible, but behind the smog filled sky lie thousands of pieces of trash orbiting the earth at this very moment. Orbital debris: Retired satellites, old rocket stages, clusters of space debris sometimes moving at up to 8 times the speed of bullets. Thousands of leftover pieces of technological progress after the feast. But who collects the bones? Orbital junk forms a dense moving net, fragments of a past age of space exploration - an artificial sky of the anthropocene. Allowing the nomads of 2084 to navigate the wastelands of climate collapse according to faint signals of retired satellites, sometimes visible to the naked eye. New constellations were imagined in the technosphere above. Put in the heavens by former superpowers and dead billionaires, they are more than leftovers of progress, colonial exploration, of technofix. This artificial sky forms new melodies, images, and gods. Reflecting back the constellative nature of a global reality.
Can you see the GRAND URINO constellation resembling a Phosphorus molecule? Urine was used in Alchemy to extract phosphorus, and is used today in global scale fertilizers. Leibnitz once wrote in a poem about phosphorus. Can you see the TESLA FIREFLIES, spontaneously manifest above private jets? A legend and “Companion Trash” that is difficult to shake of for private jet owners - as it is diffuse and time-based. Can you see the ANUS MUNDI, a circular constellation over the massively reduced polar caps? This circular shape of the trash results from the earth’s magnetic field, which repels the scrap from its geological poles. From here, Earth’s garbage will be moved into the so called “Graveyard Orbit”. Can you see the great RAT KING? A Gordian constellation, recognizable by up to eight knotted Rat tails. As an anthropogenic zodiac it represents survival, merciless consumption and corruption. Can you see the THREE PIPELINES in the sky? North Stream, Brotherhood and YAMAL? Can you see the GREAT HYENA over the E-waste Colonies of Ghana? Or the Constellation METAVASA, named after the legendary viking ship, that sank on the first hundred meters of its maiden voyage?
Conjunktion is an interactive multimedia installation dealing with the increasing problem of space debris. Similar to a planetarium, the debris orbiting our Earth is visualized and sonified in a dome projection. In this environment, recurring constellations are programmatically identified as new man-made constellations, telling potential stories about the future cultures of our planet.
Indra L. Frings
Conjunktion is part of a body of work of space projects in collaboration with Austrian artist Peter Moosgaard.