Sean Connaughty oil on panel 2007 36x48" in 1992 an experimental space craft was launched by a private corporation called (censored)Due to the risky nature of the venture the (censored) decided to keep the launch a secret. The large spherical craft was a self sustaining biosphere made of transparent, super-dense glass. Much like a terrarium, the rotating spheroid is an organic environment carrying a selection of plants, insects and biota. The astronauts aboard serve as stewards to the delicate ecosystem. Harvesting when necessary, managing a closed feedback loop system and replenishing or recycling elements when necessary or possible. This allows the astronauts on board to sustain an oxygen environment, grow food and produce water as well as carrying a collection of genetic material for a potential terraforming effort.
The craft is "propelled" by experimental super-magnet technology, activated once the craft was well outside the earth's gravitational field. The massive iron core of the gas giant Jupiter served as the intended draw for the super powerful magnets shielded within the ship. The craft experienced difficulties shortly after the launch. Tragically, the ship was drawn off course by an unknown and unexpectedly strong magnetic source. Navigational control failed and the ship was soon lost to earthbound sensors. However, evidence suggests the life support systems remained intact. All contact was soon lost as the astronauts were drawn out of the solar system and away into deep space. In 2006 a coded transmission was captured by radio astronomers. It contained various compressed data apparently compiled by the outbound astronauts. The content of these transmissions is fragmentary and quite baffling. On the initial and superficial decoding astronomers were astonished to discover an image imbedded within this massive string of seemingly random code. It was a series of jpegs with coordinates for placement of the images within a larger grid. When assembled in the grid the image appears to be one of the astronauts in protective gear in an environ which does not appear to be the interior of the craft. The image is accompanied by instructions for the manual creation of this image using specific pigments. This astonishing revelation seems to indicate that the lost astronauts have visited a planetary body. Instructions included the use of three pigments: Complex silicate of sodium and aluminum with sulfur (PB 29) Ultramarine Blue, 10G(PY 3) Hansa Yellow Light,Titanium Dioxide (PW 6), Anthraquinone Red The image was assembled into a gridded quadrants.The artist followed the instructions for pigment ratios rendered with oil paint on panel 48x36" 2007The artist has created four new paintings based on these instructions. They can be seen at Gallery Co in Minneapolis, MN 400 first avenue north 2nd floor. After a cursory decoding of the transmission, which revealed the primary image, a secondary and tertiary set of data were found within the code. The secondary set revealed audio transmissions of a peculiar nature. Stream of consciousness recitals, apparently improvised music. See "Papa don't you drop it tonight" here: http://www.myspace.com/seanconnaughtyA sample of a large body of audio recordings.Most recently decoders have begun exploration of a tertiary set of data which seems to carry video data.