Apollo XVIII is a multi-channel video installation which interprets man’s relationship to space exploration and presents an imagined mission to the moon; a mission born in the virtual age.
During March 2015, Times Square was transformed into a virtual launchpad as Apollo XVIII played across dozens of electronic billboards from 11:57 p.m. to midnight. In collaboration with NASA, footage was filmed at Cape Canaveral, combined with Hubble imagery, rare material from the NASA archives and original computer-generated imagery to fabricate the fictitious mission.
Combining iconic moments from past and present with the wholly synthetic, Apollo XVIII presented a new collective viewing experience, calling into question the nature of fact and fiction, reality versus perception and context.
Through a computer-generated time-lapse study, Sea of Tranquility captures the 1969 Apollo 11 spacecraft and American flag planted on the moon in a state of gradual disintegration. The sound, culled from recorded radio transmissions between mission control and the lunar base, is removed of all dialogue so that only the beeping radio carrier signals, static, and interference are audible. Representative of the decay of American idealism from the 1960s till present day, the film compresses years into seconds, beginning with the iconic original image transmitted on television and ending as an evocative depiction of the idle rubble that remains.
POWER shows a continuous camera move from extreme close-up of Mr. West revealing an a neoclassical video tableau showing characters and creatures surrounding him in an abstract environment – all moving in extreme slow motion.
Inspired by Michelangelo’s frescos in the Sistine Chapel, the piece depicts a faux historical moment – an empire on the brink of collapse from its own excess, decadence and corruption.
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