The moon inspired by Michael Collins

04 2020

I recently read Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys by Michael Collins, he remained alone in the Command Module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin went to the surface of the Moon. His autobiography contained the below piece on what it felt like to be alone. It moved me to make a few digital responses to the Apollo 11 experience. Darkmoon in particular references this quote, while Lightmoon is about trying to see the moon from their perspective in various ways.

“I don’t mean to deny a feeling of solitude. It is there, reinforced by the fact that radio contact with the earth abruptly cuts off at the instant I disappear behind the moon. I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God only knows what on this side. I feel this powerfully—not as fear or loneliness—but as awareness, anticipation, satisfaction, confidence, almost exultation. I like the feeling. Outside my window I can see stars—and that is all. Where I know the moon to be, there is simply a black void; the moon’s presence is defined solely by the absence of stars.”Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys by Michael Collins

The final piece, Lunar Landing, uses the last few minutes of audio from the decent of the lunar module to the moment it touches the surface and mission controls response. Audio from Mission Control alters the size of the ‘Earth’, audio from the spacecraft alters the size of the Lunar Lander, which gradually spirals in and lands on the moon.

Its very abstracted and more about wanting to play with sound, movement and colour with JavaScript. I’ll be adding to these quick experiments here: I’ll always share the code so anyone else can use it.