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by Rob Rey
This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Voyager 1 launch, the first human spacecraft to leave the solar system.
“The Voyager record would include greetings in sixty human languages and one whale language, an evolutionary audio essay, 116 pictures of life on Earth and ninety minutes of music from a glorious diversity of the world’s cultures. The engineers projected a one-billion-year shelf life for the golden phonograph records.
“How long is a billion years? In a billion years the continents of Earth would be so altered that we would not recognize the surface of our own planet. One thousand million years ago, the most complex life forms on Earth were bacteria. In the midst of the nuclear arms race, our future, even in the short term seemed a dubious prospect. Those of us privileged to work on the making of the Voyager message did so with a sense of sacred purpose. It was conceivable that, Noah-like, we were assembling the ark of human culture, the only artifact that would survive into the unimaginably far distant future.”
– Ann Druyan
Oil on Board
6 x 8 in
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Through countless mythological and religious traditions, humanity has proven to have a deep-seated need for awe-inspiring stories and the experience of wonder. With a powerful resonance, these stories provide a framework for understanding where we fit in our communities, and in our cosmos. They can also give a us a feeling of shared connection and participation with the rest of humanity, helping us to show our more caring and compassionate side.
What are the resonant, positive, and awe-inspiring stories of today? How can our expanding scientific knowledge drive our enchantment with the natural world and grow our empathic interests toward our fellow humans? Exploring these questions visually, Rob hopes to promote or create the stories that best help us to achieve these goals.
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