Hi again everyone, it's Sputniko!
In this issue, I'd like to write about my latest work, The Moonwalk Machine - Selena's Step, which is on display at the exhibition "BUNNY SMASH design to touch the world" at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.
The idea for this project was inspired from the United States' Apollo program in the 1960s and 70s. Then President John F. Kennedy launched the program, saying "We will put a man on the moon!", and the plan to send a manned spacecraft to the moon for the first time in history was a project full of sci-fi dreams; but at the same time military competition with communist and socialist states, mainly the Soviet Union, gave the project a political aspect. The stark contrast between dreams of space and raw political conflict almost makes you dizzy. In the last decade or so, however, with the rise of social media, amateur science and space development by private capital have been gathering momentum rapidly, and it seems that a second boom in space development is now approaching.
A rover used for lunar exploration forms the core of my work. It's normally used to collect stones from the surface of the moon or to investigate the surrounding environment, but another element has been added to it in my work. A device in the shape of a pair of high heels is attached to the rear, and moves up and down in a stepping motion as the rover runs. If it were possible to send this rover up in a space shuttle and land it on the moon, it would leave the high-heel marks on the surface.
High heels attached to the back of the rover, and footprints.
Along with the lunar rover, a crucial part of this work is composed of a music video, depicting the story of Selena's challenges, a science geek girl who dreams of becoming a super heroine "Lunar Girl." In the video, Selena develops the Moonwalk Machine, determined to leave her high-heel footprints on the surface of the moon, just like her heroine Lunar Girl. Many people who watched the video told me they sympathized with it, regardless of whether their background was in science or the arts, so I feel there might be a little bit of Selena in everyone.
* Original text in Japanese, translated to English by the Japan Foundation
An exhibition view of the work, The Moonwalk Machine - Selena's Step. In the foreground is the rover, and on the rear wall is the promotional video.