What a beautiful sentiment. This humanizes space travel.
I really hope the team succeeds on this mission, even with delays.
As a kid, I always felt a sense of awe reading about space and space travel. Now I am in grad school and lost that feeling of awe along the way. The only times that feeling has come back were during the Rocketman livestream and now looking at this project.
I am looking forward to the day that we go back on the moon, maybe even build a base there (Kurzgesagt released a video today about a moon base, coincidence?).
Again, what a noble endeavor, a billionaire taking artists to the moon!
Maybe Musk is the closest we've got right now? SpaceX, Boring Company, Hyperloop are pretty visionary for civilian projects. Even Mr. Hadden wasn't very well liked by those with "lesser" visions.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recent_African_origin_of_moder... (ok, well, maybe that was the Atlantic, not the Indian, but still, Africa)
This is anything but that. I feel more than humbled to be wrong. Bringing a ton of artists on a once in a lifetime trip for inspiration purposes is selfless, compassionate, and warm. It’s awesome. I’m so glad I was wrong.
AFAIR, Burt Rutan said he wasn't that keen to watch Apollo-11 landing because he assumed it's soon going to be routine.
So far it wasn't. But why do you think it will not become more routine - perhaps a lot more routine - this time? Surely one can't count on that - but we do can dream and we do can bring some of our dreams to reality, even though we aren't always good with predicting when it'll happen.
No, it will not become more routine.
You're simply not being accurate in saying that there's nothing there.
Not entirely true: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_situ_resource_utilization#M...
I think we're lucky that ancient mariners didn't listen to the people who told them "there's literally nothing, nothing, in the Great Water".
You're making a false and dishonest equivalency. Those mariners didn't know what was in the Great Water.
We absolutely do know to a huge degree of precision exactly what is on the Moon. (A whole bunch of nothing.)
We know more about the Moon than we know about the Mariana Trench. We've explored the Moon to death already.
When I watched the NASA administrator meeting in which NASA plans for building a base on the moon were discussed, one of the reasons listed was also rooted in discovery. There are many challenges that such a base would face and it is better to solve them when the Earth is close and rescue is more reasonable than to go to Mars with those problems not yet understood and solved, since the time till return from Mars will be measured in months and years rather than days.
What makes you so stridently disagree that we have more things to learn while on the moon, when the experts disagree with you? Also, since they do, doesn't this also make his equivalence a very good one, rather than false? Certainly the argument that there is more yet to be discovered about the trench does not refute his claim, only serving to enhance the degree to which claiming there is nothing is not valid.
There's a massive, atmosphere-free, stable, terrestrial EM shielded platform for large, human-maintained telescopes, and gravity for the maintenance staff.
No seriously...let's do it. We're humans - this is the kind of funny, beautiful, impossible stuff we can uniquely do.
Capital allocation? Bleh, don't be so boring and uninspired!
And honestly, humanity could use a sense of humor sometimes. We spent trillions going to war in just the past 2 decades when we could have spent a couple billion doing seemingly impossible projects like this. Projects like this also provide jobs and have the added benefit of directing our efforts into something far more useful and far less disastrous than something like war.
So yeah, I'm comfortable choosing that about 40 cents of your share of government's funding goes to this project.
You spend more on war.
Allow people to vote on government budgets and you'd get your answer.
I'd far prefer to decide what carve up of sectors tax is spent on than choose between politicians.
Do you ask the same of, or have any say in how much of your capital is invested in other ventures, for example, how much your country spends on its military, or civilian surveillance?
We need to teach our kids that, when the world is exceedingly generous to them, it's nice to care for the ones it wasn't so nice to.
Arguably, we're still cruising on the de Medicis' and Borgias' investments in the arts.
He decided to share the trip, so he won't be "the first private citizen", merely "one of the first private citizens".
Any time I see something like the level of response somewhere, I can't help but assume everyone thinks they're saying what they're supposed to say. "This is so beautiful, etc." It means I like art. I'm not an artist (I didn't take that risk with my way of life), but I like and can appreciate art which may as well be the next best thing, so I will post the comment saying I almost cried and everyone can know what a spiritual/sentimental/artistic person I am!
Sorry, don't mean to be cynical. I just don't understand how this is a big big big deal to cry over. I hope they succeed and make something great out of it afterward, just some of the comments here seem way, dare I say, over the top.
A scientist, after years of training, can look at a physical system, break it down into its component parts, figure out how to model each part using mathematics, synthesize the models, and then do experiments to confirm the overall model.
An artist, after years of training, can look at a scene from twenty different perspectives, understand the emotional impact of each perspective on different types of human personalities, can select a few that most appeal to them, and then synthesizes these selected perspectives into one whole coherent art piece.
If you are not an expert at something, then don't reduce what they can see and do, to only what you can see and do, and declare that they are doing nothing interesting.
Scientists can be artistic and artists can be scientific. They overlap.
However, an artist and a scientist are going to see literally the exact same thing when they pass by the moon (barring any medical conditions, e.g. Van Gogh). That's what I meant in saying they will see the same thing.
And I want to point out two observations about your definition of what an artist can do.
First, your definition is limiting. It is overly specific. You can agree that not every artist looks at a scene from N perspectives to synthesize all possible emotional impacts, etc. especially not in some conscious, trained way. And if it's unconscious, people capable of such a talent aren't the only people qualified to be artists.
Second, the definition itself sounds like it was written by a scientist or mathematician, a bunch of little checkboxes describing process and behavior. Maybe you were just doing that to try to get through to me. If so, I appreciate it.
However, I assume this is just how you think. And I believe that this insistence on how important and significant it is to have an artist look at the moon from up close is one heavily rooted in and biased toward empiricism / scientific-mindedness / whatever you want to call it. ("If only I could get a little closer to the moon, to measure it etc., I could properly gauge the emotional impact etc. etc. etc.")
Artists are able to write or paint (or do something in another medium) about experiences they have never had, still with significant impact. Dostoyevsky didn't have to murder anyone to write Crime and Punishment. It's not a prerequisite to see or touch something to be able to conceive of its emotional impact. The same goes for this. It may be the case that an artist gets closer to the moon and is inspired (similar to the idea of a muse), but it's not a foregone conclusion.
But only the artist will be able to paint it into a beautiful work that can be a cultural icon for centuries.
> It's not a prerequisite to see or touch something to be able to conceive of its emotional impact.
No, but it absolutely helps.
Perfect, this is what I was thinking for years but couldn't put into (very good) words. If you don't understand something, don't presume to understand it via "common sense".
It's very hard to see the world well enough to paint it. Anyone with artistic training will have techniques to see things more clearly. A painter will absolutely see something different than a regular astronaut.
The point isn't that they'll see something else, but that they may tell about it better.
It's very low-brow, but not the sort of independent low-brow that bursts with charm and zeal. It's too transactional, too structured, too contextualized, and too eagerly public. At best, this sort of big-money, one-off commission leads to the Teleharmonium and EPCOT and the Saatchi gallery, not Schiele or Baraka or I-Be Area.
If this project succeeds (which I hope it does, since that'll be good for humanity's efforts to get more active in space), it'll produce some works that can be appreciated as art. But it won't produce classics. People will forget about the works. The advancement into space will rightfully overshadow them. The works won't inspire other artists, and they won't advance any movements. They'll be curiosities studied by space historians, not art historians.
Great art transcends its origins, no matter what they are. Indeed, perhaps art is made greater by transcending its origins, just as it is by transcending the limitations of its form. The art created by this project probably won't be great, because most art isn't great. But it certainly could be. And, if so, your a priori dismissal of it will look about as informed as a contemporary renaissance critic dismissing a masterpiece as just another piece of church-funded propaganda.
I never really thought about it this way before, but Musk in a lot of ways is like late-life Walt Disney. Disney started having some _very_ ambitious projects, which never did pan out, especially after his death. Both were incredibly optimistic about the future, even when it was quite illogical. EPCOT was the idea of building a city of the future, and while it was never completed, it still inspired generations. He progressed the field of robotics, all in the name of inspiring and entertaining people, starting with the World's Fairs.
Schiele or Baraka or I-Be Area ?
An expressionist painter (now dead), a non-narrative movie-length documentary by someone who still lives, a series of deranged surreal video shorts also by someone living.
The only thing that unifies those three things is that you used them in a sentence together.
Can I play?
Tanguy or Man with a Movie Camera or Dead Mall Series !
Did I win‽
1 in 10 odds it happens?
It is amazing, isn't it? There's no guarantee that TSLA will still be around in ten years, but I bet their cars will be, along with the industry that was forced into existence by a non-incumbent player.
If that kind of outcome gets you implicated for failure, BMW must be distraught as it looks at those dwindling 3 series sales figures.
FWIW all the people trapped in the cave were rescued.
Ben Affleck, talking to Michael Bay about the movie Armageddon, in which oil drillers are sent to an asteroid to drill a hole in it, drop a nuclear bomb into the hole, and then detonate that bomb:
>I asked Michael (Bay) why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers. He told me to shut the fuck up
Not to belittle astronauts, but space travel training is more teachable than true art.
 Ira Glass quote:
> Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
Ironically, or fittingly, I've been reading a comprehensive collection of his short stories, because it was impressed on me early in my life that he was a great author, and I have recently been horrified at how terrible many of his more obscure ones are.
The interesting thing is that the quality does not simply improve with time and experience. There are extreme outliers.
In it, an engineer is brought into a war zone, where giant tank-like creatures are on the edge of overrunning the front lines. The lines must be maintained in a cave system to keep extracting a valuable mineral. The generals keep pressuring the engineer for weapons, but he wants to understand the problem first. After lots of analysis, he directs the troops to destroy a certain structure. Within days all the tank creatures die. Then the engineer explains that the cave system is actually the inside of a caterpillar on a cosmic sized leaf, and the tank creatures were its immune system. Killing the caterpillar allowed the troops to loot the caterpillar's body in peace.
Ever heard of it? I'm not sure that my memory is completely accurate.
(musician/artist here) I don't believe in 'talent' or 'gifts', and I don't believe art/music, like a lot of things, is something you can teach (mostly). You can learn it, but you can't teach it. (Botvinnik - founder of the 'Russian School of Chess' (!) - said that about chess, I keep seeing people in different fields saying that.)
You learn it by doing it. A lot. And learning from what you love, e.g. the greats in your field. And you won't do that day after day for decades unless you really love doing it. No-one else knows what you should be working on, or what you love. Everyone's bad at anything when they start. I hear a lot of people saying they wished they played flute (or something), but they're not talented. That myth does a lot of harm. I tell them, well, just start!. It's all anyone can do. Art is essentially about doing your own thing, not willfully, but following what your nature dictates. 'You' don't create it; it just flows out of you.
So I'd also think that space travel training is more teachable than art, for different reasons.
A (probably apocryphal) story: ...a woman once came up to Fritz Kreisler after one of his concerts and said to him, “I’d give my life to play as beautifully as you do.” To which Kreisler replied, “I did.”
One's own path. - If we take the decisive step and enter upon the path which is called our 'own path', a secret is suddenly revealed to us: all those who have hitherto been our friends and familiars have imagined themselves superior to us, and are now offended. The best of them are lenient with us and wait patiently for us soon to find our way back to the 'right path' - they know, it seems, what the right path is... - Nietzsche, Daybreak, 484
Yes. 100%. It's a muscle you train.
>> Doesn't it require a natural gift that you're born with?
It helps a lot, but from my experience having parents who can support you with lessons and prop you up well into your 20s is a bigger factor to being a successful artist.
>> Not to belittle astronauts, but space travel training is more teachable than true art.
In my mind it's much harder to be an astronaut than an artist, excluding extremely elite painters and musicians. And I doubt most artists would disagree with this.
I think that's what they're going for with this mission. Nearly every world-famous artist would be interested in something like this, so they won't be short of options. If you can, why not pick the absolute best?
Ai Wewei or Banksy or Stan Lee?
Stephen King or Salman Rushdie?
Sorry for getting snippy, but my Point is, art, especially of all things, while it certainly has its quantifiable aspects, is a domain where talking about “absolute best” and “world famous” is not very constructive or useful, imho.
1. Yo Yo Ma
2. Stevie Wonder
3. Salman Rushdie.
"Before the revolution, Tula province only had one writer - Leo Tolstoy. After the revolution, Tula province has 100 writers, all of them card carrying members of Soviet Writers Union; so situation with literature is now 100 times better".
- Easy doesn't seem to have any place here.
- It sounds like bringing in diversity of perspective is a large priority here, and starting with trained astronauts would severely constrain that.
I'd expect crew will accompany them - they've batted around a 100 passenger number in the past - and it's likely to be highly automated as well.
The sculptor's certainly not gonna go hop out for a spacewalk to fix an antenna.
i think everyone replying to you just got wooshed.
But even here it vanished from the front page. No trends (Germany) on Twitter or YouTube. No top news on news sites.
My "friends" on Facebook aren't talking about it. My twitter timeline only has tweets from the obvious accounts (SpaceX, Elon Musk, …) about it.
The "boy who cried wolf" effect is very much at work here, and quite rightly IMO.
Adddendum: I enjoyed the fact that the props used were not traditionally sleek and glossy like most other sci-fi series. The Eagle Transporters were utilitarian and multi purpose. The moon buggies they used similarly so. The space suits seemed to be more modern, yet, true representations of those used by the first moon walkers. etc.
I'd love to see it happen on schedule but I have doubts.
Setting an arbitrary deadline is not a negative. It gives people goals to achieve vs infinite discussion/research. Even if the date does get pushed, it's not the end of the world. NASA is famous for its schedules getting pushed. When's the JWT launching? When did the Hubble launch? How far behind was the LHC? Yes, people complain, but I would rather have them late and working than rushed and not. Look at what Hubble has given us. Well worth the wait.
Not sure why Elon Musk gets so much hyper focused attention like this. He's not the only person to have projects run late. Look at the Red camera system. Look at Black Magic Design. Apple, Microsoft and pretty much any software dev has had to push back release dates. Any HN reader should be sympathetic as I'm sure everyone has had to push back release dates, or at the least not release every feature as scheduled.
"Man was the measure of all things, and although it was correct that machines could perform miracles, they could not enlist the emotional support of the public. Astronauts could, and he left this confrontation committed to the role of human beings in space, for without them as a measure, a criterion for meaning, the program had no viability."
I'm really excited about seeing this succeed and what might come out of it. How will our world look 10 years from now.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYs8TpFzIPI (Here on Joe Rogan podcast)
When word got out that it would have to be taken down once the license expired they managed to get the license extended.
There wasn’t a big “shit show” just Chris’s son saying on Twitter (iirc) that this was the case and they (him and his dad, iirc the son did the editing on the video) were just thankful that so many people enjoyed it during the year it was up.
A few days/weeks later it was back up. Don’t think anyone talked about the deal but I want to believe that David stepped in himself to pull the strings needed for it to stay up. I love the original but dam Chris’s cover is a very close second for me...
Other song played by Chris and the barenaked ladies that I personally enjoy a lot is I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing), space related songs being played in space make them much more special to me.
This is actually less than Apollo 8 did (edit: only talking about the orbit): Apollo 8 actually went into lunar orbit with a burn, and then left lunar orbit with another burn.
However, this is using "orbit" in its formal sense. Most people would look at the diagram of the spaceship flying around the moon and call it an "orbit". I'm not going to tell them that they're wrong to say that.
But isn't it exactly what Apollo 13 did?
Odd that Picasso is mentioned in their hypothetical, it seems he didn't care much for the moon (at least humans landing on it anyhow). See lesson 8. https://www.complex.com/style/2012/10/10-life-lessons-we-can...
I don’t care what you have to say about Elon Musk’s flaws; he’s the most inspirational human to have lived in the past fifty years.
I am unabashedly a SpaceX fanboy.
Elon would be lucky to make the top ten.
I wasn't creating a list of people that wow you, or even a list of people that wow me.
The metric was "how many people did this person inspire in a positive way?" and Barack Obama undeniably did that by being the first black POTUS.
Obama is good with words but other than being the first black POTUS I don't see what inspiring thing he did.
Depends on who you ask. Bill Gates also caused a lot of damage in the tech world in my opinion and pushed us back many decades in software evolution.
Who in their right minds would choose a marketing sociopath as an inspiring figure? Seriously, every person I know that views Steve Jobs as their idol is a jackass in some way.
I agree with the rest though. I'd put Musk up there with them simply for the fact that what he is doing with companies just flies in the face of so many modern assumptions of what a corporation is.
What SpaceX and Tesla are doing is absolutely breathtaking.
Going to look into it.
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
The cynic in me wonders about the timing of this to coincide with a certain lawsuit by the diver...
When civilians can go to space and return back without issues, we would progress as a species. As a civilisation.
I wonder if it’s possible to do anything without someone criticizing it.
What's worse, the framing is absurd. What will they make when they return? Something quite similar to what they made when they left! An artist's practice is something built over years, not some kind of instantaneous response to a single experience. Perhaps it will affect the trajectory of their careers – probably unpredictably for having been associated with this bizarre, self-aggrandizing project – and perhaps it won't. To prescribe this outcome in advance of even seeing what happens is boring and totally closes the possibility of unexpected and interesting outcomes.
I think going to the moon for entirely impractical reasons is itself a conceptually beautiful act, but it's too bad it's been spoiled in this way. The story is thus: "rich man pays for himself and a handful of famous people to be flown around the moon and back." Cool story.
To me, the most interesting part of this is the incredible risk that all of these people who presumably have much to lose will take together. The true climax will be when they return safely, or not.
None of us knows what these artists will create after their flight. You think they'll do nothing beyond what they've done before. I think they might be inspired in ways we can't foresee.
I'm pleased those who are in position to do this are doing it. Maybe it'll be a bust. Maybe nothing new will come of it. Maybe they'll all die in a fireball at launch or during re-entry. Maybe the resulting art will eclipse Picasso.
Whatever the result, I'm deeply grateful to everyone involved in this.
In turn, I cannot fathom why the face and money behind this project finds it so necessary to constrain discovery by prescribing the outcome in advance.
> I'm pleased those who are in position to do this are doing it. Maybe it'll be a bust. Maybe nothing new will come of it. Maybe they'll all die in a fireball at launch or during re-entry. Maybe the resulting art will eclipse Picasso.
Yes, this would be an interesting framing for the project!
So then he's not a curator but a patron. There's entire wings of galleries dedicated to portraits of patrons of the arts.
You make some good points but your framing of art as some kind of system with established rules, more than just heaving out your opinion on it just isn't reality.
Moreover, museums don't allow the donors to curate the exhibitions, and artists do not mention their patrons in their work.
Art is in fact a system with established rules, which reflect good sense, and this collector is very much operating within that framework, just tastelessly.
Portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino (1492-1519). Raphael
Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that singular profound experiences can drive the creation of art or change the nature of an artist's future work.
Your cynicism is not much different from those that complain that the immense resources spent by engineers at SpaceX could better go to helping the impoverished.
I don't think it makes any sense to hand over this idea to some ivory tower team that thinks they know better than the innovators and creators of the ideas themselves.
He has already done half the job by framing the entire project (around himself). Involving a curator would mean allowing them to frame the project around the practices of the actual artists involved.
> Your cynicism is not much different from those that complain that the immense resources spent by engineers at SpaceX could better go to helping the impoverished.
My position would be more analogous to someone arguing that it's a shame people don't use the service offered by SpaceX to attempt more ambitious projects.
> Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that singular profound experiences can drive the creation of art or change the nature of an artist's future work.
I did not contradict this.
With regard to an "ivory tower team," I'm just a bit surprised you would think that any competent curator would necessarily be comparable to elitist academics. In actual practice, the kind of respected artists and curators I have in mind are habitually humble and thoughtful people.