If you had the chance to go on a one-way trip to Mars, would you go?
This is the question which inspired American artist Bill Finger‘s latest series of photographs. Titled Ground Control, Bill imagined how a prospective astronaut would prepare for a mission to the red planet from which there would be no return.
Bill initially heard about the Mars One project on an NPR show. Mars One is a nonprofit foundation which has developed a conceptual plan to send humans to Mars as of 2024. It has already received applications from over 200,000 men and women eager to trade their lives on Earth for the opportunity to be the first humans to step onto the surface of another planet.
Bill was intrigued. What kind of person would leave everything behind – their family, their friends, the entire planet? How would they prepare for the long journey and their new life? How would they say goodbye?
Bill Finger’s enigmatic images of space ships, domestic interiors, and alien worlds were created by photographing miniature sets. In the tenuous space between truth and fiction, the artist creates ephemeral worlds which fuse the aesthetics of photography and cinematography. The Ground Control images conjure up an atmosphere of anticipation, mystery, and loneliness.
Says the artist:
“Drawing upon my past career experiences spent on film sets, my work emulates the filmic process of creation and destruction. By creating a diorama or set in miniature, I can make new photographs that serve to stand in for memories of past events. Once photographed, the set is then discarded and only the image remains.”
Whether humankind takes its first steps on the surface of Mars in 2025 remains to be seen. But in our imagination, we are already there.