Sound Vessels

In 1977, NASA launched two Voyager spacecrafts. Affixed to each is a gold-plated record containing a collection of images and sounds that were chosen by a committee led by Carl Sagan to represent life on Earth. Should any spacefaring being come in contact with the probe, the record will be presented as a gift. Or, more likely, it simply serves as a time capsule, illustrating to the people of Earth the varied cultures that existed.

The record contains 55 greetings to the potential recipients in languages spoken by nearly 90% of the world’s population. In Untitled (Sound Vessels), the audio messages (grouped according to the continent on which the language is considered the primary mode of communication), emanate from hollow gourds and travel by way of vinyl tubing to a series of speaker cones, where they are released and heard collectively.

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