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The Moon Arts Project
The Moon Arts Project

An Artistic Snapshot of Humanity is Headed to the Moon

The Moon Arts Project
The Moon Arts Project

Our planet’s Moon is already home to an Andy Warhol doodle, two abandoned golf balls, and a message from the Queen herself. Later this year, it will become the final resting place for hundreds of new items, some of which are arguably even more peculiar.

The MoonArk, a four-chambered, 8-inch-tall snapshot of contemporary culture, will hitch a ride to the moon via the Space X Falcon 9 rocket as one of the privately-funded Moon missions in competition for the Google Lunar Xprize. The structure’s four sections represent the Earth, Metasphere, Moon, and Ether, respectively. Inside will be a collection of diverse pieces of art, including microscopic sculptures, DNA from a genetically modified goat, and a mural of photos an artist texted to his wife over a five-year period. The whole thing will be held together by an aluminum exoskeleton, each facet of which is based on the ratios of the golden triangle. In order to keep fuel costs down, the MoonArk’s four chambers will weigh less than 6 ounces.

Similar artistic time capsules, like the Golden Record aboard the Voyager, have been launched into space in the past—but unlike those capsules, some of which are still traveling, this project is unique in that it will eventually be stationary. According to the MoonArk’s webpage, the sculpture will reside on the Moon’s surface for “potentially billions of years.”

Lowry Burgess, the project's leader and one of its over 200 artists, told NPR he hopes the capsule will eventually be discovered by a species more evolved than our own. Among his contributions to the project is a single drop from a vial containing the blood from 33 different artists, as well as one from a similar mixture of samples from the world’s rivers.

After the MoonArk takes off later this year, space art enthusiasts will still be able to visit a copy exhibited here on Earth. 

[h/t: NPR]

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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