A red, battered wasteland of satellite debris, half-functioning sensors, and mangled robots. No, it’s not the opening scene of a Sci-Fi epic. It’s a visionary video installation by UK-based artist Kelly Richardson.
Originally commissioned by Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle, Richardson’s Mariner 9 has since made the rounds, most recently showcased at the Toronto Film Festival’s gallery exposition. Three-channel HD on a 43’x9’ screen whisks us 200 years into the future, as the discarded (and possibly forgotten) remnants of missions litter the Red Planet.
Richardson, with help from the University of Arizona in Tucson and NASA, used data from past Martian explorations as her starting point, then employed ‘scenery-generation software’ typically used in the ‘film and gaming industries’ to make her creation. While NASA statistics provided the backbone of the piece, she had to fill-in the gaps with her imagination, evoking an enigmatic view of the future that raises more questions than it answers.
Mariner 9 will be on tour until 2014, but here’s a condensed version of the piece, complete with detail crops, that Richardson uploaded to Vimeo.