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GUEST INFORMANTS: Kim Boekbinder & Jim Batt

This is Warren.  Allow me to present the video for Kim Boekbinder’s new song, “The Sky Is Calling."  Everything that follows is by Kim, and the video’s director, Jim Batt.


Inspired by NASA, the Universe, and Carl Sagan.

Kim Boekbinder:

I’m standing on a street corner in New York City with a bit of metal shrapnel clasped in my hand. It feels heavy and important. Once upon a time, billions of years ago, this small piece of 93% iron was the core of a planetary-sized body that collided with another planetary-sized body. These massive, heavenly orbs broke apart on impact, sending pieces of themselves careening through the universe. Some time ago one of these pieces came screaming through our atmosphere, exploding into smaller shards before reaching the Earth.

But before it was an exploding meteor, and before it was an exploding orb, this metal was forged in the nuclear heart of an exploding star.

Everything that our world is made of came from the cosmos. The iron in my blood came from supernovae; my heart pumps through me the violently catastrophic deaths of stars.

This knowledge makes me feel so small. And so big. So many things had to go so perfectly for me to be standing on this street corner, holding the metallic heart of the sky.

And perhaps even more staggering is the fact that I am a member of the species that can leave the planet. A species that can look up and think: Yes. We will go there.

A species that can look down and know that our world is unique in all of the known universe. For thousands of planets, millions of stars, billions of light years.

And whether looking up or looking down, in the deep darkest parts of ourselves is a force pushing us further, better, more.

I am writing an album about space. Because.


– Kim Boekbinder Oct. 16th, 2012

More information on the Kickstarter page:

Jim Batt’s notes on the video:

The video is primarily made up of individual frames of raw data sent back from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, currently orbiting Saturn. The eerie monochrome glitch aesthetic is the result of various technical factors – data artefacts, exposure calibrations, environmental conditions, and cosmic rays hitting the sensors. The main exception is the stunning footage of the sun, which was captured by another spacecraft.

NASA carefully clean up and calibrate their images before releasing them, but there’s an inherent beauty in the unfiltered footage, driven by the aesthetics of how this spacecraft watches the solar system. A machine-vision perspective on the cosmos.

The overlays are diagrams of humanity’s attempts to understand the universe throughout history, from astrology to the astronomical calculations of Copernicus and Kepler: early attempts at flight to blueprints of the spacecraft that now enable us to reach the sky.

For the final sequence I used footage of the Russian Soyuz capsule resupplying the International Space Station, largely because the Russians are damn good at making a rocket launch look starkly dramatic and appropriately science fictional.   @kimboekbinder   @battsignal

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