Art project lets people launch their laugh into space
Despite Elon Musk's ambition to make humanity a multi-planetary species, most of us will probably never get to go into space. But thanks to an art project by Israeli artist Eyal Gever, your legacy could end up living forever in the deep, cold reaches of space – in the form of a 3D-printed sculpture of your laugh.
The project, titled #Laugh, is far from the first piece of art to escape the Earth. Voyager 1, which is the most distant man-made object from Earth, is carrying the famous Golden Record, containing samples of our art, music and science, and the Hadley Rille on the Moon is home to The Fallen Astronaut, a small aluminum sculpture smuggled there by the crew of the Apollo 15.
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But, should it come to pass, #Laugh will be the first piece of art to be made in space. That's thanks to the aptly-named company Made In Space, who launched a 3D printer to the ISS in March this year, which Gever will use to print the sculpture.
Anyone interested in maybe having an abstract piece of themselves released into space can download the #Laugh app and record their best belly laugh. The app will then process the sound into what the artist calls a "laugh star" – basically, a 3D map of the laugh – which can then be shared around the app. Users can vote for their favorites, and the laugh star that gathers the most likes will be crowned the winner, earning it the honor of being beamed up to the ISS, 3D-printed and jettisoned from the craft into orbit.
"The earliest cave paintings were of human hands which were a way of proclaiming and celebrating the presence of humanity," says Gever. "#Laugh will be the 21st century version of that: a mathematically-accurate encapsulation of laughter, the most universal and human response, simply floating through space, waiting to be discovered."
All right, so it's a bit fluffy, but it's sure to appeal to the kind of crowd who might "buy" the deed to a star for the bragging rights alone.
The contest to create and share laugh stars is running up until December 31, so if you're interested, download the iOS app and give it a go. The winning laugh will be announced in January next year, before being printed and released in February.