Monday, August 16, 2010
Greetings from the People of Earth
Greetings from the People of Earth from World Science Festival on Vimeo.
In 1977, taking advantage of a fortuitous alignment of planets, NASA dispatched two spacecraft named Voyager into space. These probes, now the farthest human-made objects from Earth, carry with them a unique recording, the Voyager Golden Record. Compiled by a team under Dr. Carl Sagan, the Golden Record holds images and sounds, ranging from pulsar beeps to x-ray photographs, the songs of whales and human heartbeats. In addition, the Golden Record holds spoken greetings from the people of Earth, recorded in 55 languages both dead and alive.
This video montage is a meditation on these recordings, our loneliness, and the herculean, courageous task of SETI. The now-distant voices -- all of whom make statements of earnest peace, curiosity, and goodwill, our best human attributes -- are paired with images of the night sky from their countries of origin. It seems they are shouting out into the void; indeed, the people on the Golden Record (and perhaps our entire civilization) will be long gone by the time the Voyager probes pass within range of another star system.