Stellar diaries

The Future is Now

Since the beginning of time space exploration, space migration and space travel has captured the human heart. The ‘Space Age’, however, began relatively recently, in the 1950s and 60s. Since then, many countries – the USA, the former USSR, Japan, China as well as countries from the European Union – have established space programs, contributed to the discovery of unknown star systems, and explored the possibility of human migration into space. NASA has undertaken many of the most successful space exploration efforts, including the Apollo missions, the Skylab space station, the Space Shuttle program and lately the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle mission. Space exploration and space travel are concomitant with capturing images, as images are the raw data for much space-oriented scientific research. European Space Agency’s and NASA’s Spitzer, Hubble and James Webb Space telescopes have led to the establishment of a scientific gaze, undisputed in terms of validity. Although images from space telescopes have helped us determine the age of the universe, the identity of quasars, and the existence of dark energy, our gaze and reach into the infinite is a work-in-progress deemed to be tackled in the present and not in the future. Foremost, due to overpopulation and the fast- evolving resources’ exhaustion of our planet. The Future is Now. The Space Age is now and it is powered by encroachments in space travel and in artificial intelligence (i.e. singularity, strong AI). Within this context, the project, The Future is Now, thrives. And from this context, it derives its importance, as it urges discourse and action in the present. It has been materialized by the production of high quality photo based visuals to draw connections to narratives around the so-called ‘Space Age’ and current space exploration and space travel efforts opening a discussion between opposing points of view on an ideology, which advocates the escape of humanity from Planet Earth in exchange for new stars and solar systems. These discourses have fueled my incentive to depict outer space as both a point of departure and a to-be-reached destination. Also to contribute my own renderings of the cosmos and communicate new ways of representing space exploration and space travel. Mixed technique photo-based processes have been used including: direct computational photography, light painting and postproduction practices.


Yiannis Galanopoulos