Richard Clar, Utopian Dreams – Adam Molinaro

Richard Clar’s guest appearance in lecture was pretty interesting. I thought his project on the space dolphin was particularly interesting. Originally I thought that the idea of putting a dolpin into space was pretty out there, but after having a little time to think about the concept I can sort of see where he is coming from. About a year ago I watched an episode, on the Discovery Channel, on extraterrestrial life that related to Richard Clar’s ideas. The episode highlighted these people obsessed with aliens and extraterrestrial life. These people had funding (I think from NASA) to emit radio waves from Arizona into outer space in hopes that something out there would respond. At the same time they were constantly monitoring frequencies coming from outer space in hopes that something would be doing the same only to us. Eventually the project was halted after like 15 years. This project seemed very similar to the space dolphin project. I still don’t completely understand why Clar chose dolphin frequencies opposed to say a man made radio frequency, because dolphins are completely incapable of emitting their noises into space, while we have already done so.

The collision II project was pretty amazing. The example of the tiny particle of paint striking the windshield of the shuttle was pretty intriguing. I took particular interest in the sounds that Clar was able to produce. They seemed so spooky. It’s pretty crazy to think about how its only been around 50 years since any living organism has put an object into space. I truly wonder what things will be like 50, 100, 200 years from now. Only time will tell. In these 50 years the Russians have managed to put approximately 70,000 objects estimated to be 2 cm in size have been observed in the 850-1,000 km altitude band. NASA has hypothesized that these objects are frozen bits of nuclear reactor coolant that are leaking from a number of Russian RORSATs. Combined with The U.S. Space Command, using a variety of radars, presently tracks over 10,000 orbital debris objects. Orbital debris objects as small as 10 cm in low-Earth orbit and 1 m in higher orbit are being tracked.

The ideas that professor Vensa brought up pertaining to art, science, and technology solving “explosion like” problems in society has me a little stumped. I think that art can definitely raise awareness to a problem like racial or economic tension. I also think that science and technology can help predict and model some of these events. Will they be able to stop them? I don’t necessarily think so. I don’t think these events, like the La riots or even the uprising of the latino community after the immigrations restrictions were imposed during my senior year of highschool, are not random what so ever. I personally think that tensions such as racial tension are slightly ignored  and eventually boil over as we saw in these examples. The concept of a Utopian society is pretty farfeched in my opinion.


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