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A Space Program 

Wednesday, Apr 13 2016
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Articles matter in grammar, and there's a reason why Van Neistat's movie is called A Space Program, not The Space Program. The program in question was an exhibition by artist Tom Sachs in 2012 called Space Program 2.0: Mars, in which a team of artists using a process with the lofty name of bricolage — basically, using whatever's around to create a new thing — made a mockup of a flight to Mars and back. The picture follows both the development of the project as well as the audience as they were guided through it, and it's significant it was an event meant to be enjoyed by the general public, and not just wasted on Burners on the playa like so much conceptual art. Something that might stick in the craw of huge nerds is the fact that while the landing process is charmingly represented by the Atari arcade game Lunar Lander, in A Space Program it's shown to be played on an Atari 2600 console, which was not capable of vector graphics, and the version of Lunar Lander that was actually included in the 2600's Star Ship cartridge was far less sophisticated. But only a huge nerd would even pick up on that, the same kind of huge nerd that would create a mock trip to Mars.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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