Greg Allen

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Greg Allen

Work from Exhibition Space.

“In August 1960, the fledgling NASA launched Echo I, a mirrored spherical balloon, or “satelloon,” 100 feet across, which was inflated 1,000 miles above the earth. Nominally a reflective communications satellite, Echo I’s primary mission was to be visible to the naked eye by the earth’s entire population. Early promoters, including Dr. Wernher von Braun and Manhattan Project alumni, considered it an “American Star” rising “in the West” and images of it in orbit were captured by photographers around the world.

Exhibition Space considers the aesthetic and conceptual implications of photography during the Space Race and its role in our shifting perception of the universe. Echo I’s mission to visually colonize the frontier landscape of space followed an ambitious 10-year effort, completed in 1955, to photograph the entire visible universe. In scientific, conceptual, and technical terms, the 1,870 plates in the National Geographic Society’s Palomar Observatory Sky Survey constitute one of the most advanced photographic projects ever undertaken. The photographs, films, and objects in the exhibition mark the transformation of space from the site of earthbound study to one of scientific, military, political, and cultural production and display.” – Apex Art

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