On view will be a model for Trevor Paglen’s upcoming satellite launch put together with the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art. Orbital Reflector is a sculpture constructed of a lightweight material similar to Mylar that will be a non-functional aesthetic object. Once in low Earth orbit at a distance of about 350 miles (575 kilometers) from Earth, the CubeSat infrastructure opens and releases the sculpture, which self-inflates like a balloon. Sunlight reflects onto the sculpture making it visible from Earth with the naked eye — like a slowly moving artificial star as bright as a star in the Big Dipper. Ultimately, this satellite will accomplish something long important to the work of the artist, a telescoping mirror of ourselves.
Orbital Reflector changes our sense of the interstellar by transforming “space” into “place.” It makes visible the invisible, thereby rekindling our imaginations and fueling potential for the future
Trevor Paglen, Orbital Reflector (Scale Model), 2018. Courtesy of the Artist and Altman Siegel.