Mariner 9, 2012
3-channel HD video installation with 5.1 surround sound
20 minute loop, 43’ x 9’
Originally commissioned by Tyneside Cinema, UK
Mariner 9 presents a panoramic view of a Martian landscape set hundreds of years into the future, littered with the rusting remains from various missions to the planet. Despite its suggested abandoned state, several of the spacecraft continue to partially function, to do their intended jobs, to ultimately find signs of life, possibly transmitting the data back to no one.
Mariner 9 was created using scenery-generation software employed by the film and gaming industries in combination with technical data from NASA’s missions to Mars to produce a faithful artist’s rendering of Martian terrain, populated by the debris from centuries of exploration through real and imagined spacecraft in the centre of a duststorm. “Cinematic tropes of sci-fi films abound, but any search for a clear narrative is frustrated. Presented with minimal action, we wonder instead about the search for life beyond our own planet and the simultaneous destruction of life on earth.” (Laurel MacMillan, Programmer for TIFF Future Projections)