In a NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, UAE privately held company working in the sphere of space and lunar art Selenian, private space company Spacebit and US privately held aerospace company Astrobotic collaborated with artist Sacha Jafri to send the a piece of art to the moon. Today the collaborators got together in the USA Pavilion at World Expo 2020 in Dubai for a press conference that revealed the artwork and details about this incredible mission.
In what artist Sacha deemed as a “really big moment”, he revealed that NASA would be visiting the moon later this year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the last landing. “But this time there’s an added bonus,” Sacha said. The collaborators of the project approached him to work together on something that to him is “very personal” and shines a light on saving our planet. How they would do that, was by sending Sacha’s art to the moon and making profit from it for solely humanitarian purposes, with the hope to make real change in our world.
Sacha’s aim is to create a work of art that is beyond our Earth: “The idea is to send this work of art up to the moon and then create a charitable NFT series that will raise money to bring back to Earth in real monetary terms”. The series of five NFTs is set to be on four major charitable concerns – education, health, sustainability and equality, as many Earthly current global issues seem to fall into one of these pillars. Those pieces will be released to commemorate each stage of the mission – from the rocket launch entering the stratosphere to the legacy of the eternal artwork on the Moon. Besides that, a corresponding artwork to the one going on the moon will be available for purchase through an auction.
When talking about the NFTs behind the project, Sacha says that there ought not to be any concern. “An NFT merely validates a possession. In two or three years every single thing we buy will be an NFT and I say that with confidence”. Claiming to have observed a lot of “nonsense” in the NFT world in the form of quick trading and fast ways of making money, the artist says that he only entered this space when he believed “that something poignant, transparent and with objective can be achieved with the NFT”.
“That’s why the NFT charitable series will have poignancy and meaning beyond all the nonsense, and it will have real value”, he explains. Named “We Rise Together – with the Light of the Moon” the artwork aims to ultimately reconnect humanity to ‘The Soul of the Earth’, according to Sacha. “With figures, entwined in love, reaching for a new found understanding of unity and consequential hope, as they embark on their journey of exploration from our inhabited planet to our uninhabited moon”.
Founder of Spacebit who developed the technology behind the mission, Pavlo Tanasyuk explained the technical details about this extraordinary mission at the press conference. He shed light on the extreme temperature amplitudes on the surface of the moon, ranging between -80°C and +123°C in one lunar day, which equates to two Earth weeks. Those amplitudes are what makes everything perish once the two weeks run out.
Earlier, Sacha explained that once the lunar night is over, “everything will just disintegrate – except my artwork”. “The plate that we will land on will stay there forever,” explained Pavlo. “In the future when someone travels to the moon and gets to the protected historical site, they will be able to see a piece of art aimed at helping humanity that has landed there before humans, that are planning to one day stay there, have”.
Selenian, a UAE company specialising in curating art in space is the collaborator who put together the artistic and humanitarian aspect of the mission. Co-founder James Khazaei spoke on his collaboration with Pavlo and their initial conversations about landing on the moon. “I thought – is that really going to happen?” James admitted. Some months later they both came to see the mission starting to become reality. “The vision of Selenium is very simple – to make a difference and impact in the world through space technology”, explained James.
According to him, the ultimate goal of the project is to be the gateway portal to Space and the moon for physical and digital art assets in turn giving back to the humanity community “with purpose and utility here on Earth”.