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[i]Step through the doors of the Park Avenue Armory today and you'll join a DIY expedition to Mars that's part hard science, part Capricorn One. With new installation Space Program: Mars, sculptor Tom Sachs and his team of 13 astro-artists have crafted an otherworldly fantasy out of common materials, assembling the components of a space program out of readily available materials bought at hardware stores or salvaged from the streets.
The low-tech nature of Sachs' illusionary expedition to the red planet stands in contrast to NASA's state-of-the art space exploration. "Ours is crappy," says Sachs during a press preview of the exhibition Tuesday. "But that's why it's magic."
Space Program: Mars, which opens Wednesday, consists of 50 sculptures, five films and countless zines, which took Sachs and his studio hands three years to create. With the sprawling installation, they've attempted to fashion all the life-sustaining gear that would be necessary for humans' colonization and scientific exploration of Mars, from a food-delivery conveyor belt and an astronaut gym to systems for waste disposal and even a Mars rover. Tucked away amid the exhibit's simulated launch and capsule-gathering scenarios, visitors will find a few Sachs staples: a place for his tea ceremony and for a signature Jack Daniel's bottle.
But really, Space Program: Mars isn't about space. It's about life on Earth.[/i]
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