Paul Catanese

Experiment, Art, Field Tests, Desert, Site Specific Installation, Space Program, Failure


Visible From Space is the name of a thought experiment. It is an open series that exists in multiple materials – video, relief prints, installation, projection, handmade paper, artist’s books, found objects, field notes, interviews, essays, and site specific events. This work erupted from a fanciful supposition to create drawings on the Earth so large they would be visible from the moon. For such a feat, the stroke width of the line would need to be close to 60 miles wide in order for barely a hairline to be visible from that distance. It is charming to think that the Great Wall of China is visible from space – but this is merely a popular mythology. It is difficult to resolve an image of the Great Wall even from the International Space Station with the naked eye – which orbits about 250 miles above the Earth, let alone from outer space or nearby celestial bodies. For this reason, Catanese has been creating experiments – including his own “space program” (scaled within his budget) during the Month of June 2010, while on residency in Death Valley.  Presented here are a number of field tests from the adjacent Amargosa (Bitter Water) Valley for Visible from Space.