GIF by Alex Hanson, using photos of and from the Voyager Golden Record
Golden Record images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
For this month’s editor’s letter I want to issue a kind of call-to-action for a new HERpothesis project: the HERpothesis Golden Record. We’re making it, and I want you, you creative, smart, ambitious HERpothesis reader, to get involved.
This project is inspired by the Voyager Golden Record, a phonograph and collection of images in a time capsule that was sent out on both of the Voyager spacecraft. Since 1977 two copies of the record have traveled with Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, acting as a sort of message in a bottle for any alien species that may find them one day. The records contain several audio recordings and pictures that are meant to give an impression of life on Earth: our lives, our architecture, animals, plants, music, math, and even a recording of human brain waves.
For the HERpothesis Golden Record, we’re going to make our own kind of addition to the time capsule, by compiling original work showing how life on Earth is different now than it was just 40 years ago. This is a multimedia project comprised of pictures, diagrams, drawings, audio and even video content from HERpothesis readers and contributors. The content should be able to show an alien species what life is like on Earth today. Main themes for this are technology, globalized communication, and the Internet, because these realms are very different today than they when the original Golden Record was made in 1977. However, we also want new ways of tackling questions the Voyager Golden Record addresses: What is it like to be human? How do we eat and interact with each other and our planet? How do plants and animals exist together? What do different cultures and ecosystems around the world look like? How do animals and plants live together? What does it look like to feel emotions, to be hungry, to fall in love, to be part of a family? The end goal is to have a well-rounded HERpothesis Golden Record about the Earth experience, ready to send out to alien species (or to share here on HERpothesis online), inspired by Voyager but from our own perspective.
If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved in, send your original work and/or ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for work from regular contributors as well as HERpothesis readers. Be sure to send in all your contributions by May 6th.* I can’t wait to see what you all come up with.
*Note: This deadline has been extended to May 21st. Looking forward to seeing your submissions!