Greetings from the planet of earth: accounts of architecture for an interstellar audience on the Voyager Golden Record

Sully, Nicole (2016). Greetings from the planet of earth: accounts of architecture for an interstellar audience on the Voyager Golden Record. In: AnnMarie Brennan and Philip Goad, Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand: 33, Gold. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Melbourne, Australia, (658-668). 6-9 July 2016.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Sully, Nicole
Title of paper Greetings from the planet of earth: accounts of architecture for an interstellar audience on the Voyager Golden Record
Conference name Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Conference location Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates 6-9 July 2016
Proceedings title Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand: 33, Gold
Place of Publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher SAHANZ
Publication Year 2016
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9780734052650
Editor AnnMarie Brennan
Philip Goad
Volume 33
Start page 658
End page 668
Total pages 11
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
In 1977 the Voyager I and Voyager II twin probes were launched into deep space on a fact-finding grand tour of the cosmos. The unmanned space probes were to make close observations of major planets including Jupiter and Saturn and their various moons. Each of the Voyager probes carried a copy of what is known as the Golden Record - a twelve-inch phonograph record made from gold-plated copper - that was conceived as a cosmic greeting card intended to introduce and educate alien life to the ways of planet Earth.

The compilation, overseen by scientist Carl Sagan, included a carefully curated collection of music including, among others, work by Bach, Mozart, Louis Armstrong and Chuck Berry. A selection of ‘the sounds of Earth’ were also represented through whale songs as well as the sound of thunder, crickets and Morse code. Greetings and well wishes were recorded in fifty-five languages, and included messages of peace and friendship from countries such as Greece, Israel, Brazil and Syria as well and more idiosyncratic messages, such as that from Sweden, whose message was a greeting ‘from a computer programmer in the little university town of Ithaca on the Planet of Earth’. The Golden Record was tantamount to a compilation of civilisation's greatest hits.


In addition to these sound recordings, the Golden Record was encoded with 118 images that were chosen to represent the richness and diversity of life on Earth. Among these were a number of images of the built environment and specific works of architecture ranging from images of vernacular buildings in Africa through to views of towns, cities and highways. It also included a series of images of landmark buildings and structures, including the Great Wall of China, the Golden Gate Bridge, the United Nations Building, and the Sydney Opera House. The Golden Record, in effect established the first canon of human architecture and endeavour intended for the unknown residents of the universe. This paper will chronicle and critically consider the architectural content of the Golden Record.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes http://sahanz2016.msd.unimelb.edu.au/papers/Sully_Greetings-from-the-Planet-of-Earth.pdf

 
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Created: Fri, 23 Dec 2016, 01:50:24 EST by Anthony Yeates on behalf of School of Architecture