2 Channel 4K Motion Graphic Video on OLED & LED Monitor , Stereo Sound, Each 1’ 52” & 52”, Looped, 2019
Messenger(s) (2019) begins with the prologue from 『The Human Condition』(1958) by Hannah Arendt,
a German philosopher who pondered on human life and humanistic values from the perspectives of labor, work and behavior. As seen from the engravings on the epitaph of a Russian scientist, the mankind’s ambition to expand territories repeatedly seen throughout history is now going beyond the Earth, moving towards the outer-space. In October 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched the world’s first artificial satellite Sputnik 1, and after just one month reached the Earth’s orbit for the first time with a creature on board. Due to this incident, later known as the “Sputnik crisis”, many changes were brought about in and outside the United States in the fields of science, technology, politics and education with regards to space development and arms race. A notable example would be the establishment of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) under the President in the following year. During the 13th UN General Assembly held the same year, the Outer Space Treaty was signed allowing for the free use the Earth’s outer atmosphere and celestial bodies solely for the peaceful purpose of mankind.
A stuffed dog in a space suit inside a flat transparent screen is called Laika, also known as “Laika the Space Dog” from a children’s science book entitled 『Laika Which Became a Star』 (2018). Laika roamed around the slums before being discovered by the Soviet scientists,
then underwent various tests and trainings to adapt to the space environment and then was placed on board Sputnik 2 for a launch. Laika on board a small and narrow spaceship became a national hero, symbolizing the Soviet’s level of science and technology, much more advance d than that of the U.S. at the time of the cold war, and was touted as the hero for mankind who e explored the era of space for mankind. With the level of science and technology back then, it was impossible to have a satellite returned to Earth, but the issue of the right to life of Laika was not much discussed. Laika’s cause of death was officially announced by Russia only 50 years thereafter, confirming that Laika died a few hours after the launch due to excessive heat and stress coming from the heat adjustment system error of the spaceship.
Human’s imperialistic ambition of conquering the outer-space territory continues to this day. While Russia is planning to modernize 70% of its aerospace defense command by 2020,
the U.S. will establish the Space Force and restructure its military structure, and China has published a report highlighting that “defending China’s interest in new areas like the outer- space” is one of the core strategic operations of the Chinese People's Armed Police Force. Mankind having left footprints in almost all parts of Earth is now heading towards the next destination, the outer-space. But will this dark and vast space provide us the utopia we seek? Would mankind ever cease to move? Surrounding Laika, reborn with a 3D digital motion graphic based on the most advanced technologies to date, NASA-recorded sounds of
the Earth, the Sun and other planets continue to resonate repeatedly. Messenger(s)
a digital monument, paying tribute to so many living beings that sacrificed their lives at the starting point of moving towards a better life , which had been recorded on the unrevealed sides of human history