Though It Cannot Be Seen, 2021
two channels CGI animation and video, 5:10 minutes
In 1969, the American spaceship Apollo 12 landed on the moon, equipped with a camera designed to document the planting of the Stars and Stripes on the moon. This was the second human landing on the moon, but the first to be filmed by a color camera, that was supposed to broadcast one of the most important TV events of the century, live on NBC. Unfortunately, shortly after the broadcast began, the camera was damaged after it had been turned towards the sun by mistake. All that remained of the live broadcast was the audio. In an attempt to reconstruct the footage, marionettes operated by famous puppeteer Bill Baird in his Manhattan studio mimicked the astronauts’ movements on the moon as reenacted based on the audio channel. The result was a live broadcast of a real event directed live using fabricated images – perhaps one of the first pieces of fake news.
In the broadcast, the historical event was used as a background story for a two-channel video work, which combined 3D animation of the astronauts’ images in space and direct filming of a puppeteer using wooden marionettes. The astronauts’ motions in space were determined by the movements of the marionette operated by the puppeteer, only that one of the “astronauts” is affected by gravity and followed Baird’s movements, whereas the other did not and went out of control. In fact, this was a performance exploring the attempt to secure human, earthbound control over extraterrestrial space – a dance performance shifting between control and its lack, which dialogued with the historical background story. The attempt to plant a flag on the moon and broadcast it live to the entire world was a grandiose statement: the US sought to control not only Earth’s natural satellite but also the world media and public opinion – not only the perception of reality but also its design.
CGI Yuliya Bogonos
Sound Binya Reches
Video Itay Marom
Puppeteer Ornan Braier
Stills from video & performance