tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory

tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory

 

 

while in new york for design week, designboom was able to visit american artist tom sachs‘ new space odyssey installation ‘space program: mars‘ at the armory in new york city. the expansive exhibition is sachs’ interpretation of the NASA mars missions, re-conceptualizing and actualizing many of the objects used in these expeditions including anything from mars landscape to launchpads to mission control to exploratory space vehicles. the immersive four-week art experiment has taken the 55,000 square foot gallery space into a massive assemblage of meticulously crafted space work objects fashioned in the artist’s typical bricolage technique– from easily accessible materials available in his new york city home.

tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
a man at work at the reconstructed mission control center
image © designboom

 

 

the exhibition is a manifestation of the artist’s exploration in the recent realities of NASA closing their shuttle program, the beginnings of privatized space travel, the more polarized wealth disparity in the united states, and questions of creativity.

 

‘space program: mars’ is a demonstration of all that is necessary for survival, scientific exploration, and colonization in extraterrestrial environs: from food delivery systems and entertainment to agriculture and human waste disposal,’ sachs says. sachs and his studio team of thirteen will man the installation, regularly demonstrating the myriad procedures, rituals, and tasks of their mission. the team will also “lift off” to mars several times throughout their residency at the armory, with real-time demonstrations playing out various narratives from take-off to landing, including planetary excursions, their first walk on the surface of mars, collecting scientific samples, and photographing the surrounding landscape.’

tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
a detailed perspective of the monitors which comprise the ‘NASA intelligence center’
image © designboom

 

this is the second space themed installation by the artist, as the first exploration of the galactic exhibition was displayed in 2007 with gagosian in his show ‘space program’.

tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
a detailed view of empty vodka bottles and a fisher-price xylophone found at mission control
image © designboom

tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
a wide perspective of the ‘space program: mars’ exhibition in wade thompson drill hall which also housed ICFF’s opening party
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
an assemblage of folding chairs on gradual steps are decorated with sach’s interpretation of NASA’s logo and face the exhibition space 
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
the ‘indoctrination’ center
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
sachs’ tinkered interpretation of an observation unit, touching down on the surface of mars
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
three levitating bikes– two with milk crates and one with a rack– are parked outside the installation’s building center
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
the rectangular pedestal housed a number of ordinary objects reconfigured to resemble a high-tech building and information center
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
a young man rests on a folding chair in the building center
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
image © designboom

tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
a detailed view of the ‘hot nuts’ machine
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
a stand for food with the words ‘red beans and rice’ added in block letter components across the top
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
a detailed view of a miniature character guarding the bank of the red beans and rice stand
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
the open suitcase full of what seem to be small missiles having arrived to john f. kennedy airport on delta airlines
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
red raised components are placed throughout the gallery simulate the rough terrain of mars’ surface
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
one space exploration vehicle is paused in what seems to be a permanent struggle over a mini martian mountain
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
left: two gallery goers dressed in sachs’ lax NASA uniforms by a collection of land formations and a miniature tank
right: an additional view of the 55,000 square foot installation space
image © designboom

tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
the found-object built tank rests in a repair shop
image © designboom

tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
the massive space is open to the public to engage in sachs’ exploration of mars
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
every-day material assembled sculptures are almost perfect replicas of objects NASA astronauts would have interacted with years ago
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
a camper-turned NASA space vehicle
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
an interior view of the converted transport object
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tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
the organizational system housing the gear and calisthenic exercises of the exhibition’s astronauts
some of the crew gear shown here is part of ‘NIKEcraft‘, tom sachs’ design collaboration with NIKE footwear based on the ‘space program: mars’ project
image © designboom

tom sachs: space program mars at the park avenue armory
space suits and the laboratory of the mars exploration installation
image © designboom


‘space program mars: trailer’ by tom sachs

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