Dario Robleto’s presentation at the Systems of Sustainabilty Symposium in Houston earlier this year explored extinction through stories and archival sound. One portion of his presentation has not left my mind: The Golden Record.
The Golden Record is a phonographic record that was included in the two Voyager spacecrafts launched in 1977. The record was intened to provide insight into life on earth for any extraterrestrial life forms or far future humans who may find it. In 2008, the Voyagers escaped our solar system.
The Record, for me, represents the sustainability of a life and culture in the form of archive. At the time of launch, President Jimmy Carter is quoted to have said, “This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.”
The Record’s sounds include a message from the Secretary General of the UN at the time, greetings in 55 languages, a lovely track titled ‘The Sounds of Earth,’ and music from around the world.
You can view ‘Images of the Earth’ and listen to all of the tracks at www.goldenrecord.org