Artist Richard Clar's canvas is literally out of this world. And on July 21, the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's Giant Step, Clar returned his words to the moon. From the Observatory of Côte d'Azur, the famous phrase of the astronaut was transmitted by an encoded laser beam and bounced off a retro-reflector deposited in 1969 on the lunar surface by Armstrong and Aldrin, returning the light beam back to Earth. http://www.arttechnologies.com/site-2005/projects.html
With a panache and vision, American Richard Clar is one of the great artists of space art, or cosmic art, for the last thirty years. The influence of this historical moment, continues to echo in our hearts and imaginations, fueling and inspiring our vision of the future.
His latest work, Giant Step, utilizes the Laser Telescope at Cote d'Azur Observatory, Grasse (MeO) laser-ranging station in Calern, France. On July 21, at precisely 02:56:15 UTC, the time of Armstrong's first step on the Moon, Clar and the team at the Observatory directed a narrow laser beam at a tiny target, located at a distance of 238,900 miles away.
Pulsed through that beam of light were the words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Capturing the reflection of that moment, literally and figuratively, encapsulates, at the speed of light, the historically impact we are still experiencing.
This commemorative artwork, employing arguably the most distant canvas in history, will celebrate the moment life on earth changed forever; as humans, for the first time, walked on a celestial body other than our mother planet.
For young people today, who didn't experience Armstrong's moonwalk in real time, we reignite the unmet possibilities of life for their future. This is art that unites and through its narrow reflection, opens the mind to reflect back on our planet and the preciousness of our lives together.
Richard Clar is a Los Angeles new media interdisciplinary artist who now resides in Paris. Clar, who studied at the Chouinard Art Institute (now Cal-Arts), is an early pioneer of art-in-space and began work in this field in 1982 with a NASA approved concept for an art-payload for the U.S. Space Shuttle. Philosophical in nature, themes for Richard Clar's art-in-space projects include: space environment issues, such as orbital debris; war and peace; the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and water management on Earth. The work of Richard Clar has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and universities in the United States and Europe and may be found in corporate collections such as JBL Sound and the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
In 2001, and again in 2002, Clar coordinated the Leonardo/OLATS/IAA Space Art Workshops in Paris. Richard Clar is the Director of Art Technologies, Paris; a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA); Artist in Residence, Companhia Espacial Portuguesa Lda.; a Member of the SETI Permanent Study Group, and a member of the Leonardo Space Art Working Group. Clar was the Secretary of the former Art and Literature Subcommittee of the International Academy of Astronautics, and a past Member of the Executive Board, Graphic Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.