Moon Relay

Video installations, 2013
loop, 6’18’’

Communication Moon Relay was a military project by the U.S Navy using the technology ‘Moonbounce’, also called Earth-Moon-Earth. This is a radio communication technique developed shortly after WWII which allows sending radio signals to the Moon and receive them back as reflection. Communication Moon Relay grew out of many ideas and concepts in radio espionage. Some impetus for the project was provided by the post-war efforts to develop methods of tracking radio signals, particularly those originating in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

Communication Moon Relay played an important role in the Cold War and the Space Race, during which more than 1.000 nuclear tests were carried by the U.S. alone.

The video installation shows images of nuclear explosions reflected by the Moon’s surface, using the technology ‘Visual Moonbounce’, which I developed in 2009 during my residency at the Dwingeloo radio telescope in The Netherlands. The images have been sent to the Moon as radio signals by a station in Brazil and, after being reflected by the Moon’s surface, have been received by the Dwingeloo radio telescope and reconverted into the original images. The evident distortion of the images is caused by the great distance travelled by the signals, approximately 768.000 Kilometres.

In the exhibition setting the images are projected in large scale, in order to emphasize their hallucinatory content and saturated colours, by overstating their distortion.