"Space debris is turning our outer atmosphere into a trash-mosphere"
Treehugger, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (20. April 2005)
1957. Sputnik 1 was launched. This top secret satellite carried a life-sized “mannequin cosmonaut” – an ancestor to cosmonaut Ivan Ivanovich. Unfortunately, the flight of Sputnik 1 was doomed. A major malfunction caused the capsule to become incorrectly oriented... it drifted into space, trapped in its unwanted orbit until reentry.
Space debris: man-made material orbiting the earth that has outlived its useful lifetime: satellites that have become inactive; discarded rocket bodies; pieces of material jettisoned or having flaked off spacecraft; objects that are the result of collisions or explosions.
A Message from space in my Backyard. Reconstructions is a photo essay/ photo installation that is based on a research (performed years ago for a two channel video installation with the same title) that focuses on the phenomenon of space debris. Through 44 pages in texts and images, the narrative follows the short history of the presence of man in space and the chronology of space junk objects reentries to Earth at unpredictable moments and places. The facts in the story are intertwinned with excerpts from the brothers Strugatsky science fiction short novel Roadside Picnic and other refereces that help to situate the phenomenon in human cosmologies.
The work incorporates textual quotations, as well as images from Paul Maley (former NASA engineer) with the prior permision by the author. There are also images from the website of NASA (www.nasa.gov) following the "Use of NASA Imagery" quidelines.
This work would have not be possible without the generous support of Paul Maley, Iara Boubnova, Ivaylo Ditchev.