Space Flight Dolphin – Michael Chen

Richard Clar’s guest lecture was fairly interesting, despite the fact that I was struggling to stay awake due to unrelated reasons.  The one thing he talked about that stuck with me was Space Flight Dolphin.  This artwork was presented in a video featuring visualizations made from Hubble Space Telescope images.

Space Flight Dolphin is a proposed sculpture that is to be launched into space and released into orbit around Earth, functioning as a satellite.  The sculpture will be constructed of a shape-memory alloy, and will transmit dolphin-voice-influenced (modulated) signals which can possibly be intercepted by extraterrestrial life forms.  Instead of merely sending out signals from a tower or a basic transmitter, Space Flight Dolphin also functions as a work of art. Communications are achieved not only with sounds, but with visual symbols not consisting of letters or numbers.

I find this idea fairly intriguing as we usually associate communications with words and language, but in reality we have been communicating with art much longer than the we have been with words, as set by many precedents such as cave wall paintings, stone hedge, hieroglyphics, and many other historical artifacts.  With Space Flight Dolphin, we are really just continuing to do what we always have been doing.


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