»Your project VIOLENT SKY is simply extraordinary. 
I have been contacted by hundreds of publications, editors, designers 
and graduate students over these many years.
But this is the most unusual ›take‹ on the NASA subject that I have seen.«

(designer of the legendary 1970s NASA graphics standard manual)


The starting point of the work VIOLENT SKY is the vast databases of text and images of the American space agency NASA. I became fascinated, not only by the archived texts and photos of various space missions and their goal, but also by the immense preparations, as well as the seemingly unmanageable technical and human resources needed for each mission and entire space programs. Through all of these the faith in technology and in the human creative power is clearly demonstrated. A crucial ingredient for all of this is the imagination of the impossible, coupled with the desire to discover new worlds, to be a space pioneer. It is science and design at the highest stage. A game, at the same time backed by millions of public and private funds. A production, almost performance – worshiped by all instances, and sublime to all moralities. Success and failure are at close quarters. In the work VIOLENT SKY I contemplate the moments of defeat and loss – that way, I think, they grant a brutally honest look back on all those responsible, and the human nature in its entirety.

PART 1 /

The first part END OF TRANSMISSION covers the three major disasters of the American Space History: Apollo One (1967), Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003). Every disaster is bundled in a black box and consists of three parts: A sixteen-page transcription of the last radio transmissions shortly before the tragedy, 15 photos related to the history of each spaceship, and a deck of 32 cards, divided into 8 sets of four cards. Each set highlighting a specific detail. The transciptions and the cards are all printed on a Risograph printing machine. The lids have a holographic foil treatment, which shimmers with different colors in the light.

PART 2 /

The second part GOLDEN AGE OF SPACE is a 60x60x28cm large object in which 20 fans were installed. When a viewer in the marked area approaches the box, a sensor measures the distance and increases or decreases the speed of the fans or stops the rotor's rotation. People, technology and motion are the three controlling factors.

PART 3 /

in cooperation with 
Markus Lange

The third and final part of the work is named NO DOWNLINK. A poster composed of 42 single sheets, showing the different reactions of the spectators in the moment of explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in January 1986. Through a video projector the moment of the launch until the explosion is repeated in a loop. Delayed to the projection, the original commentary of the live coverage is played through headphones.

Built with Berta