Creative Time

The Last Pictures Launches With EchoStar XVI Satellite

November 5th, 2012

Artist Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures, an archival disc containing 100 photographs representing modern human history, launched into outer space Tuesday, November 20, at 1:15PM EST! Paglen’s disc will orbit Earth for billions of years affixed to the exterior of the communications satellite EchoStar XVI, becoming what may be the longest-lasting material artifact of contemporary civilization.

Audiences on Earth can experience the project through an accompanying book entitled The Last Pictures, published by the University of California Press with Creative Time Books. The book, available online at Amazon, contains extended explanations of each image engraved on the disc, essays describing the thought process behind the choice of images, and other contributions by scientists and cultural theorists who worked on the project. Terrestrial audiences can also find out more by watching a short documentary film on the making of The Last Pictures, available here.

This exciting moment marked the culmination of years of work by Paglen that included regular conversations with a diversity of leading scientists, historians, artists, and philosophers in order to select the images; an artist’s residency at MIT; and collaboration with materials engineers and astronomers at MIT and Carleton College. Creative Time is proud to have commissioned and enabled this groundbreaking work of art.