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Space: An Introduction

Space is something to explore (determined by your residential status, citizenship or race) or to occupy in 2016.

Bad Subjects #90: Space. Edited by Mike Mosher and Molly Hankwitz

Space is something to explore (determined by your residential status, citizenship or race) or to occupy in 2016. Is space the final frontier, or a steadily-shrinking zone of permission?

It's always been a subject to be contemplated, interrogated, theorized. Books are the vehicles through which many of us first encountered space, Man's (note sexism) Reach Into Space by Roy A. Gallant, illustrated by Lee J. Ames, or the Classics Illustrated Giant comic book The Illustrated Story of Space (1959). Herbert S. Ingham produced a handsome little book called The Theory of Space which he privately published, at age 24, in 1955 in Roslyn Estates, NY. Intended for a technical audience, it is filled with formulae, some graphs, and a call for what he calls "discretus mathematics" to push the theoretical implications further. Googling the internet, our grand social space, we learn that Ingham held patents in rocketry and for the metal bottom of the oscillating lawn sprinkler.

Time warp five, six decades later, and Elon Musk may be launching experimental rockets in hopes of cornering the market in private space flight, but more likely people see US airborne drone strikes into lands far from the US, or fighter jet-launched missiles into Aleppo or Gaza.

Issue 90's trajectory spans heliocentric worlds of science, politics, the arts, the interpersonal. Space-age optimism, Space Art, spatial illusion, science fictions, militarization of space, privatization of space travel, psychedelia, architecture and interiors, urban or rural physical and psycho-geographies, incarceration, personal space (for collective protest, or privatized Air BnB and second homes), and of course, the spaces and interstices discovered in-between.

Space is contemplated as we move through our own corners of it. The crew of this diverse space station that we've assembled brings a variety of expertise to the mission of the issue.

John Baesler reflects upon the effect of Germany's influx of refugees on Our German Space, and the politicians that prey upon the refugees, and populace, within it.

Steve Martinot recounts how democracy vs. begging is the alternative given to Bay Area residents who demand the social resources for which they've paid their taxes.

Then alternative arts entrepreneur Benjamin Champagne laments how the act of re-invigorating rust belt cities with art havens can be complicated by inflexible, confining regulatory and tax structures.

Patrick Lichty queries if contemporary mega-structures are imbued with religious intent in The Orbital View: Posthuman Architecture in the Age of the Zero Point City.

San Francisco Bay Area community murals historian Tim Drescher looks into Space, Murals and the Social Sublime.

Mike Mosher peers at how Michigan modernist architecture often shapes the action taking place in postmodern California artist Jim Shaw's dreams.

Continuing psychogeographies both psychic and fragile, Molly Hankwitz celebrates feminist film Our Bodies, Our Selves: The Performance of Feminist Film. 

Within earshot of the music of the spheres, David Cox ponders Why Did I Write a Rocket Opera?

Patrick Powers interviews three creative musicians, whom he has known for decades (fellow alumni of Boston's Berklee School of Music) about their memorable Space Music.

Nate Garrelts pokes the relationship between recent games, computer security and the security state in The Next Big Fear: What Digital Games Really Teach Us about Information Security.

Bad Subjects imprisoned contributor Colin Scholl presents the madness of confined space, and its state and institutional promoters, in an original one-act play American Safety, Security, Freedom (and) Unlimited Corrections that Franz Kafka might find amusing.

Chad M. White diagrams toxic top-down information space in 2016.

Christi Griffis sips her drink, observing, until concluding: You Take Up Space.

Michael Ricciardi proposes, with illustrations, The Space Junk Remediation Project.

We wrap up our spaceflight with links to two more artists.
Colette Gaiter's 1997 interactive artwork SPACE|R A C E has resonance today in its investigation of America's spaceflight history intersecting its race relations.
Myrrh, living not far from the Stanford Linear Accelerator, depicts atomic, cosmic or molecular spaces in each dynamic painte tondo.

Buckle in and blast off for a galaxy of reading ahead.

—August 8, 2016

Graphics: Classics Illustrated comic cover. Interactive kiosk "Flight Paths: Imagistic Hypertexts of Space/Flight/Silicon" © Mike Mosher 1996, 2016.

Copyright © Mike Mosher . All rights reserved.