In 1973, the American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author and science communicator, Carl Sagan created the Pioneer Plaque for the Pioneer 10 space exploration mission.
It’s purpose was to tell where Earth is and who we are in the “improbable but not impossible” (sic.) eventuality of extraterrestrial civilizations intercepting the probe.
Pioneer 10 gathered important scientific data and sent us first high quality images of Jupiter. On December 3rd, 1973, Pioneer 10 left Jupiter orbit, flying away into deep space. It’s last very weak signal was received on January 23, 2003 when it was 12 billion kilometers from Earth. In the present moment, the probe is an inert object crossing the Galaxy. It should reach Aldebaran, in the Tauro constellation, in approximately 1 690 000 years.
How would the
Pioneer Plaque look today?
I was born and raised under the influence of modernistic romantic ideals: that Humanity is one, that we are all brothers and sisters and that our common goal is to master the laws of Nature, end wars and all human suffering, expand our mental and phisical frontiers, explore the Gallaxy and live in the age of Aquarius. John Lenon and Carl Sagan were my beacons. Their spirit and purpose conformed my cosmovision. I felt it was perfectly solid, self sufficient, indisputable.
And then postmodernity came and the world became a mess.
I had to assume that I was being naif, that things are complex; That there is no universal consensus on what progress is, who we are, what is important in life, what is worth dying for, what’s virtue and what’s bullshit, what is a serious matter and what a joke. I had to swallow that reality isn’t objective and straightforward but a fast-evolving fluid hyperreality, possibly predicted in the Simpsons, probably ‘promoted’, maybe deep fake but MOST CERTAINLY controversial and offensive from someone’s point of view.
The world may be shrinking but the complexity and transformation pace are on the rise. We are flooded with an ever-more complex reality. We are asked to have an opinion on an increasing number of controversial causes which escape our living experience. For example: should transgender athiletes compete with women or in a separate category? How to regulate religious symbols at schools? Should people with mental illness adopt children? Should we prevent Chinese from eating dogs? I don’t know!
More questions, conflicted social norms and personal needs and rights. New problems on top of old problems thrown in our face. This Information overload in an aggressive political correctness public scrutiny environment produces perplexity, fear and an addaptative self-censorship mechanism. This facilitates [oversimplification alert] a series of undesirable effects both on indivisuals (depression, mental illness, anxiety, isolation) and on societies (populism, extremisms). That’s my worst vision of postmodernism: a freakin’ mess, everybody confronted, offended, intoxicated, angry, neurotic and laying about it. That’s the Postmodern Pioneer Plaque.
Now, would I erase postmodernism from existence if I could?
It’s a seductive thought but no. There is no way back, only forward. We have to sort our way through this: keep questioning the old axiomatic categories, recognizing diversity without prejudice and develop a world that works for everybody.
Will we succeed? I don’t know. Maybe it’s impossible. Maybe we’ll descend into chaos once again. Maybe this altruistic endeavour destroys itself or gets destroyed by an external or internal force. Hopefully with patience and empathy we’ll hold it together.
This project is
Watching “Cosmos” as a child he was my guiding star. A man who embodied wisdom, passion for science, wild curiosity and kindness. A true pacifist who saw us the as one: Humankind, together with the animal kingdom and our beautiful planet.
My uttermost respect towards this extraordinary person.
Disclaimer: Please don’t get offended by this video!
I do not intend to make fun of any individual nor any particular group of people. I intend to make fun of ourselves as a whole. Humanity is an anomaly, a rare biological phenomenon that recently appeared on the surface of a generally wet rock that flies in the nowhereness. From that perspective we are truly all the same. I share Sagan’s and Lennon’s dream of a time in which we finally stop clashing and start behaving as one.
This is non commercial project.
It’s an art video, a gift to the internet community, a result of hard work of puzzling footage together. In the case that a clip or an image contained in this video belongs to you and you are not happy with it, please contact me (@bkv999).
Why is this video ignorant to other messages officially sent to space such as the Golden Disk (1977) or the Arecibo Radio Transmission (1974)?
Well, I needed to start from somewhere and I chose The Pioneer Plaque for its iconic value. It’s true that both Voyager’s Golden Disk and the radio signal transmissions known as Arecibo Message can be greatly “improved” from today’s political correctness standard. Maybe in the future I’ll engage in those other humanitarian missions 😉
The Postmodern Pioneer Plaque Project was conceived and produced by Boris Kozlov
Voice over talent
Sara Montgomery Campbell
Illustrations artwork by Eduardo Gutierrez García
Original music composed by Eric Foinquinos
Album: K-R Quoi de neuf
Performed by K-R
David G. Bonacho
Sound Design and Mix Beltran Rengifo
Web Diego Bartolomé
Special thanks to
Marta Kozlov, Zoe Berriatua, Alvaro Giménez Sarmiento, Mario Olivan, Maja Petric, Jon Pitaluga, Yamila Fernández-Colman, Jorge Frías, Javier Hormigos, Luis Olivan, José Manuel Carrasco, Isabel Fernández, Antonio Garrido, Silvia Figueras.