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SOCLE DU CIEL

SOCLE DU CIEL

2022

Laser engraved titanium cube

Moon Gallery, Nanoracks, Voyager Space

Our idea is to bring a transcendental object into orbit to become a representation of the immensity and inconceivability of Space. How could such an object be conceived? Neither a painting nor a sculpture could ever transmit this concept. Or could they? Consider this: A pedestal bearing the inscription “Socle Du Ciel” travels around the Earth and, owing to its continuous state of motion, offers an infinity of perceptions of the universe as a sculptural concept, and thus becomes a symbol of the immensity of Space. This abstract sculpture will also be a just representation of time and space. True, the sculpture cannot be contemplated from our planet, but this is not necessary as its mere existence supplies an artistic and philosophical basis for thought.  The cube will be made by the Swiss watchmakers URWERK from the metal Titanium with laser engraving. Titanium was named after the Titans of the Greek mythology, of whom Atlas, who carries the firmament, was one. We choose Titanium, since the “Socle Du Ciel” is metaphorically taking over the task of carrying the heavens from Atlas.

 

Back in 1990, we contacted the president of the USA, George Bush, and the chairman of the USSR, Mikael Gorbatshev, with a letter to each, asking them to send an artwork into orbit. For the United States, we proposed a golden frame with the engraving “Cadre de l’Univers” (frame of the universe), while the USSR should put a pedestal with the letters “Socle Du Ciel” (Pedestal of the Sky) into orbit. While referring poetically to Piero Manzoni’s Socle Du Monde, the objects maintained a slight irony of their own: the frame functioned as a symbol for the western value-system of capitalism, while the pedestal could be seen representing materialism, a philosophy central to communism. Back in the days, this project was also meant as a critique of the race by the two superpowers to extend their global supremacy to outer space. To our surprise we weren’t granted a response from either addressee, which led to the inclusion of this updated version of the project 31 year later with the Moon Gallery.

Technical information:

Artwork name:

SOCLE DU CIEL

Date:

Creator:

2022

Martin Frei

Country:

Switzerland

This work is part of the following collection:

Moon Gallery

Laser engraved titanium cube

Medium:

Dimensions:

1 x 1 x 1 cm

Sculpture

Genre:

IAAA Art Style:

Launch vehicle / mission:

Antares 230+ / NG-17 Cygnus resupply mission

Host spacecraft / hardware:

International Space Station

COSPAR id

2022-015B

Launch location:

NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia

Launch date:

19 Feb 2022

Orbit / space location:

LEO, International Space Station (ISS)

Return vehicle:

SpaceX Dragon 2

End date:

11 January 2023

Status:

Returned

Client / Agency:

Moon Gallery, Nanoracks, Voyager Space

Artist:

Martin Frei

Watchmaker

Switzerland

Martin Frei

Christophe Draeger

Multimedia artist

Switzerland

Christophe Draeger

Collection:

Moon Gallery

2022

Moon Gallery

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