Artist Tom Sachs Brings The Park Avenue Armory Into The Space Race
The final frontier is as close as the Upper East Side, thanks to a vast art installation by Tom Sachs that turns the Park Avenue Armory into the surface of Mars. NY1's Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
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Artist Tom Sachs is blasting off to Mars from inside the Park Avenue Armory. He and his team of artists-turned-astronauts transformed the Upper East Side space into a sci-fi playground.
Asked whether it is art or science, Sachs replies that space exploration is in some ways the greatest art project of all time.
"Art, science and religion are all on the same paralax course for trying to understand the same unknown things. Where did we come from, where are we going, and are we alone?" says Sachs.
Everything at the exhibit, including a life-size model of the Apollo lunar lander, is all "do it yourself" low-tech construction.
"I think that Tom Sachs, he's 13 years old still, and he's that kid with the science project and he wants to know ho everything works, and he wants to make it, and make it work," says President Rebecca Robertson of the Park Avenue Armory. "So here you have the Mission Control and you have space stations and you have launch and you have suiting stations and they're all made with things you find at home."
I got to ride around the surface of Mars on a reconstruction of the Rover. But for Sachs, exploring outer space is also a way to learn about conservation here on Earth.
"When you go to another planet you have to save every last drop of water, every last drop of food and fuel," says Sachs.
The entire piece is interactive and just about everything a visitor does is captured at Mission Control.
Real NASA scientists who have visited the project, which is co-presented by Creative Time, like what they see.
"They love how knowledgable he is, and they also really admire, or are maybe a little bit jealous, about how free he is to use metaphor and to really engage these people in these large cultural discussions," says Anne Pasternak, Artistic Director of Creative Time which co-presented the project. "And that's where the art comes in, that's the magic of it all."
"Mission To Mars" is a go through June 14. For more information on the exhibit and associated family programs, visit www.tomsachsmars.com and www.armoryonpark.org.
To learn more about how to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math opportunities in your community, visit connectamillionminds.com.