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Marco Brambilla: Mission to Mars

Artist Marco Brambilla’s Apollo XVIII Mission to Mars takes off in Times Square.

Brambilla staged a fictitious mission to Mars using Times Square as a virtual launch site. Directed and filmed by David Bates/Streaming Museum.

The countdown to a planned, but never launched, 1973 NASA space mission was simulated in Marco Brambilla’s multimedia work Apollo XVIII for Times Square Midnight Moment in March 2015. Motivated by the renewed interest in space travel and plans to send humans to Mars by 2026. Brambilla immersed the public in an experience that he said, “is mixing the nostalgia of the analog age with the promises of today’s technology.”  He combined found footage sourced in the NASA archive with new computer-generated imagery. “I hope to leave the viewer to decide the value of virtual and physical modes of exploring.”

Photos by David Bates/Streaming Museum


Marco Brambilla is a Milan-born, New York-based video artist, known for his elaborate recontextualisations of popular and found imagery. His work has been exhibited in major collections worldwide including Kunsthalle Bern, the Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the ARCO foundation, Madrid, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. His video installations have been screened at Venice Film Festival (2011) and the Sundance Film Festival (2012). In early 2015, Brambilla also showed his Megaplex trilogy at Fondation Beyeler, Basel, and the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis.


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