Debris Space (2018)

Astronaut’s Lost Glove

Collaboration with Hyomin Kim.
SVA Visible Futures Lab AiR Project.

Debris Space is a levitation art installation made of lost objects in space. Man-made space debris has been piled up and increasing in its numbers since the beginning of the space program. Through this project, the team intends to address the growing issue of space debris orbiting around the Earth, which typically includes defunct, artificially created objects such as satellites and their parts. Such debris can pose a serious threat to satellites in operation and even humans in space. Currently a few thousands of satellites are in orbit. More than several tens of thousands of objects are reported to be space debris. With the emerging space industry and space travel, it is anticipated that space debris and its threat to human technologies will increase. We also take this project as an opportunity to reflect on our human behaviour and ask ourselves a question. In a good-intentioned attempt to understand Nature and solve many worldly issues, we often end up creating waste and bring about new problems; can we use our curiosity and creativity so that it serves not to damage our surroundings but to harmonize ourselves with the world and prevent us from making same mistakes?

The installation consists of a mirrored space of a pixelated globe with a number of debris objects floating above using a levitation technology. The debris objects included in the installation are based on real-life examples of lost objects from various space missions, ranging from the astronaut Ed White’s glove lost in space in the year 1965 to a more recent example of miniaturized satellites called “CubeSat” that, against its many hopeful promises, often fails to establish connection to the earth thus becomes untraceable.

This installation utilizes 9 electromagnetic levitators and mirrors for the ground stand. Most debris objects made for this project were 3D printed, by recycling commonly available 3D models found online.