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NASA: Past and Present Dreams of the Future

NASA: Past and Present Dreams of the Future, is a project comprising of an experiential exhibition and book from British photographer Benedict Redgrove.  With unprecedented access to NASA’s spacecraft, labs and facilities Redgrove has created a body of work that looks at the power of those objects and the effect they have on us emotionally and spiritually. The “overview effect” is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during space flight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. This experience of seeing first hand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, “hanging in the void”, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.  From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this “pale blue dot” becomes both obvious and imperative. From the projects inception, its ethos has been about invoking reverence and awe to science, NASA and the achievements of human kind in space exploration. Overwhelming the viewer by showing these objects and places in fine detail and at large scale, thus revealing what they mean to us as human beings.  The objects became greater than the sum of their parts in their lifetime. Now they are even greater when seen from a new perspective. In isolation, out of their contextual environment, alone, hanging in their own space.  In their singularity they are free of distraction, to be admired emotionally, physically and spiritually…”

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