The Archaeology of Things Larger than Earth

Pedro Alonso & Hugo Palmarola (Chile)

Alt Art Space


The Archaeology of Things Larger than Earth excavates into the traces of the first U.S. global satellite-tracking network, the Minitrack … a chain of nine tracking stations built in 1956 and 1957 by the U.S. Army along the South American continent to get signals from satellites crossing the 75th West Meridian on each orbit. Nicknamed ‘the fence,’ this initial north-south line cut across the United States, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru and Chile… This archaeology… is both the actual and conceptual excavation of an object whose parts were not only satellites and radio signals, but also buildings, equipment, infrastructure, as well as the diplomatic and media strategies that made trespassing national borders possible in a feat that was, geopolitically, no less complex than overcoming gravity.” –PA, HP

The Archaeology of Things Larger than Earth presents the material fragments of the Minitrack, a 8,000 km long network of satellite tracking stations developed during the late 1950s across the Americas. These fragments range from the smallest pieces of electronic equipment up to the planetary scale of satellite orbits. Through a series of animations and films, the leftovers of Minitrack are juxtaposed with the remnants of the Soviet astronomical missions of the 1960s that punctuated an overlapping geography.