Lanny Jordan Jackson
As it has been decided by international treaty, the moon belongs to no single nation or
commercial enterprise. Economic conditions already prevent many nations from making a
claim, and, do we remember when the Americans bombed the moon? Already there are
fraught political conditions that surround any enterprise that takes place in its cold
dominion. For this reason, it would be best that an exhibition of art on the moon were an
international collaboration amongst friends. Long distance communication on Earth would
prepare those staffing this exhibition for idleness. Space is lonely, but so is Earth. And
anywhere we’re not would be ideal to where we are, especially when art and the moon are
concerned. With the moon hundreds of thousands of miles from the Earth, and overcome
by mathematical magnitude, it’s easy to find oneself singularly reified by the Kantian
sublimity of space and scale. Such long distance staffers, Transatlantics, would understand
the risks faced by these overwhelming associations. With them in charge, they would create a
third realm. Like a language spoken only by a few, their exhibition of art on the moon would
gracefully abide a suspended and diminished gravity. Though art’s material conditions limit
it’s audience to small groups of people, we may reckon it’s value when it becomes
indigenous to aliens of the moon.
At some point, art and artists must be chosen for the lunar show. In this case, we would
suggest a selection: some friends, a student, someone from our hometowns, and a few artists
with whom we’ve gained an intimacy through their work. If this exhibition is to represent
such interstellar collaboration, then it should exist as odd constellations, equally geometric as
perspectival and interpretive. Unprotected from assaults by space debris and the sun, no
structure could withstand these conditions for long. It would certainly be a temporary
exhibition. What strangeness and alienation, when we speak about distance in terms of time.
How violent and chaotic our momentum now appears. But art on the moon might be free to
enfold and expropriate this condition, contort and officiate in the abjection of its difference.
The irony of this, our impossibly distant, but closest satellite…what pointlessness! And yet,
an exhibition, just as the artists it has connected, trusts to art in locating some reason we’ve
given passage to the things we brought with us to the moon.
When Challenger exploded, we saw dreams ignite. Maybe we also saw that neither precious things, nor garbage belong in space. Error, in a void so hostile to life, can lead to catastrophe and threat would be embedded in every aspect of an exhibition of art on the moon. It could end with devastation. It is for this reason that art on the moon might have purpose, because all of the banalities and boredom ascribed to any solitary earthly work would bare a peculiar celestial gravity; and, across time and distance, the act of sending art to the moon would be a catharsis of values and emotions so personally held. It is fun to think about an exhibition of art on the moon, because we cannot submit our Transatlantics to this immanent cruelty in person. These reveries, like the distant environs of the moon, may confirm the malice we’re willing to risk for others further contemplation of becoming alien together with art on the moon.