An archive of international art is headed to the moon this year. The project, called the Lunar Codex, brands itself as “a message-in-a-bottle to the future, so that travelers who find these time capsules might discover some of the richness of our world today.” It will contain contemporary art, poetry, magazines, music, film, podcasts and books by 30,000 artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers from 157 countries.
The project is run by Incandence, a private company that owns the physical time capsules, the archival technology used in the capsules, and related trademarks, and was thought up by Canadian scientist and author Samuel Peralta, who is the executive chairman of Incandence.
From 2023 to 2026, in a parallel mission with the Artemis launches, NASA will not only send scientific instruments to the moon, but also carry commercial payloads from partners. Peralta, in July 2020, purchased payload space from Astrobotic Technology, reserving it for the time capsules that would make up the Lunar Codex. Then the submissions rolled in. Artists do not have to pay to be considered, but the works that make it in have all been hand-selected.
If all goes according to plan, the project will be a permanent install