2017, Video, 4 min 22 sec (looped)

blips is part of a series that examines how modern travel and space exploration are extensions of colonialism. The series takes root in and uses material from the Golden Record, launched aboard NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes in 1977. The record’s content – sounds, music, and images – was meant to provide a snapshot of Earth’s cultural and natural diversity. Combining airline promos, astrophotography and reinterpretations of sounds from the Golden Record, the series also reflects the forcefulness of NASA’s project, suggesting that the desire to explore space and make ourselves known to an extraterrestrial other, repeats and renews colonial motivations.

The artist would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council.

SIMON M. BENEDICT is a Toronto-based artist working with video, sound, performance, and still images. He repurposes existing audiovisual material and archival documents to explore our relationship with various forms of fictional and historical narratives, and how they impact our interpretation of unmediated reality. Benedict holds an MFA from the University of Guelph (2016) and a BFA from Concordia University, in Montreal (2011). In 2018, his work has been exhibited in Canada at YYZ Artists’ Outlet (Toronto), VU (Quebec City), Dazibao (Montreal), and in Germany at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf. He has participated in residencies at the National Film Board, the Banff Centre, and Centre Skol and received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.