mecredi 8 juin 2022

Wednesday June 8, 2022

On view until further notice
This video work combines imagery from the collapse of the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico in 2020 (our most powerful telescope for sending and receiving messages into space), with text pulled from the archive of letters written from famed science fiction writers James Tiptree Jr. to Ursula Le Guin. James Tiptree was really a woman named Alice Sheldon, who used a male pen name in the 1970’s to get published, and to explore her closeted sexuality with metaphors of alien encounters. Tiptree remained isolated and in hiding for most of her career but had intense friendships with other sci-fit writers through typed letters. The most notable exchanges were between her and Ursula Le Guin. Tiptree and Le Guin exchanged over 450 pieces of correspondence in an eight year period, all before Tiptree was outed as being Sheldon. Many, if not all from Tiptree are love letters. The text that appears in the video are segments of writing from Tiptree that were sent to Le Guin. The lines themselves have not been altered, but the order they appear in has to create a new letter or poem. 
I can hardly bear it when it is over, I can hardly bear it when it starts
Run time: 8:06 
Footage of Arecibo Observatory telescope collapse courtesy of the National Science Foundation
James Tiptree Jr. archive is copyright 2022, Jeffrey D. Smith
Sound designer: Stephen Vitiello
Kepler Star sound recording courtesy of NASA/JPL-CalTech
Typography, animation: Lauren Thorson