In the last few years, the battle for space has been fought mainly between two men: Jeff Bezos, the master of the Amazon, who hopes to regularly push civilians into suborbital space with Blue Origin, and Elon Musk, the baron of Telsa, whose SpaceX hopes to one day colonized Mars. (Virgin Galactic by Richard Branson is also in the mixture.)
But what about Tom Sachs?
The American artist may not own a rocket company, but he has spent more than a decade exploring his all-consuming passion for space, from the moon in Gagosian in 2007 to Mars in Park Avenue Armory (2012) and the moon on Jupiter. (2016)). In September, it opened Space Program: Rare Lands, an experience at the Deichtorhallen Museum in Hamburg, which guides visitors through a series of tasks mimicking the extraction of rare minerals on the nearest asteroid on Earth, which are needed to continue production of the iPhone. Most recently, he launched a collection of capsules with Canadian retailer Ssense, a sponsor of the show Deichtorhallen. The selection includes spotted ceramic cups, folding chairs, T-shirts, a Casio watch and more, released last week on a microsite that allows visitors to get an idea of the project from a distance. At the same time, the Montreal store hosts an installation of Sachs’ works and distributes a limited edition.
A compelling contrast driving Sachs ‘space projects is that while space exploration is aesthetically defined by technological innovation, Sachs’ art is characterized by a craze for handicrafts and human imperfection. Those with an even fleeting interest in fashion and art will recognize his handwriting, which spans his studio, films and fashion collaborations, and pieces in a recent exhibition are made from materials such as foam core, plywood and hot glue. “The best thing to do so far is obviously what we’re using right now – this phone, the supercomputer that, if it’s in the palm of your hand, can do endless things,” he said in a video chat last week. And yet “the telephone has no evidence that it was made” – there is no trace of the hand, nor a trace of its construction from human work. It is fully automated. Or, as Sachs said, “One of his greatest achievements is that he is miraculous. No stitches. Even the software is designed to look like it’s there without even knowing it. ”
Sachs loves to show the seams, which separates art from the machine. “Artists have an advantage over the industry because Apple could never do something as flawed and as personal as my sculpture,” he said. “It can’t make fonts. [Artificial intelligence] can’t make music. It makes a noise that sounds like music, but it can’t. He cannot create a soul. And the artist has this advantage. The artist can say that I am someone. I exist. And this is a quality that I always try to strengthen in my work. ”
This quality is further enhanced by the tracks created with Ssense, which is known for its unorthodox collaboration but envisages the Sachs project, and the accompanying website, as the first of its kind digital analogue of an art exhibition. “I’m interested in making things lasting,” Sachs said. “The $ 10 T-shirt you wear once is the most expensive T-shirt you can own. And the $ 100 T-shirt you wear a thousand times is the best value you can make. And I think all the products we’ve made with Ssense have that quality. He pointed out that everything is done in the United States; he is especially proud of the quality of the t-shirts. His favorite piece is Leatherman, a Rolls Royce from pocket knives. “I hope everyone who gets it uses it,” he said.[and] it’s not on the shelf, but they use it and fuck it, and if they break it, they fix it. “