While Made In Space is hard at work accomplishing a number of herculean tasks, like 3D printing satellites in space and building a 3D printed spacecraft with Enterprise In Space, the company does have the opportunity to laugh a little. Or, more accurately, work with laughter, as long as it has something to with 3D printing and space. For instance, they will play a vital role in sending the first sculpture into space, a 3D printed work of art titled “#Laugh”, by artist Eyal Gever.
The Israeli artist has already made a name for himself by using algorithms to generate dynamic moments in time and then 3D printing them as beautiful sculptures, including roiling ocean waves, popping bubbles, and spilling oil. Gever’s next piece will be 3D printed aboard the Zero-G 3D printer on the International Space Station.
#Laugh is a global collaborative art project to be launched in 2016 that will result in the first piece of art to be created in space, after it’s printed on the zero-gravity 3D-printer aboard the International Space Station, designed and launched by Made In Space in 2014. It was in 2014 that the artist was contacted by Made In Space with the challenge, “What would you do if you could create art in zero gravity?” Tasked with such a project, Gever believed that he would have to create something of “universal appeal, that was neither country nor culturally-specific.” What’s more universal than laughter?
#Laugh will be a 3D printed sculpture generated from the sound of crowd-sourced laughter. Through an app, users worldwide will be able to record their laughter and share it through social media. According to the artist’s website, “The laughter with the most shares and retweets after three months will be sent to the International Space Station to be 3D-printed and then released into orbit.”
Gever says of the project, “The earliest cave paintings were of human hands which were a way of proclaiming and celebrating the presence of humanity. #Laugh will be the 21st century version of that — a mathematically-accurate encapsulation of human laughter, simply floating through space, waiting to be discovered.”
Made in Space CTO Jason Dunn contributes, “One of the areas that we are excited a lot about is art and how we can design new types of art that maybe we can’t even bring back to earth, because we’re building a sculpture that wouldn’t even survive in gravity.”
At the same time as this will help prepare Made In Space for the eventual space-based printing of large-scale structures, #Laugh is a beautiful symbol of just what can be achieved when humanity works together towards a common goal, something that is often achieved with space projects. Just as the whole world can feel united when humanity achieves such feats as landing on the Moon, imagine what the emerging new space industry will do for our collective. This is particularly true of the work of Made In Space is performing with Enterprise In Space, which will not only see a 3D printed spacecraft go into Earth’s orbit, but will do so for the purpose of providing students across the planet with STEAM education. If that’s not a goal that will unite the world, I don’t know what is.