An iPhone 8S launched with a weather probe at 40.000 mt. (13.1200 ft.) ascends towards the space bringing with itself “outtake images” from Earth by random users across the globe.
During the shooting of the documentary “iSola” (80′) shot by my friend, director Elisa Fuksas, in which I participated as organiser and operator for some scenes, I was asked by her to think as an artist about something, perhaps a performance, that could connect herself with Alessia, her longtime friend, lost, and then found again in the circumstances of a common cancer they had (narrated on the doc). A gesture, a symbolic act, above all, a surprise for Alessia, which could serve as closing scene for the film.
Since the documentary is shot entirely with the iPhone and the theme of faith is present, I thought of a sort of “vertical pilgrimage”, a technological prayer ascending the sky , and so I decided to launch my iPhone in the space with a weather balloon probe, mounted over a plexiglass screen, a GoPro camera and a polystyrene box with all the techs needed for this artisanal crazy space launch.
Ascending higher and higher and gradually disconnecting, the launched iPhone has become a kind of small contemporary “Golden Record”, relaunching earthly media contents on a cosmic scale, those that we all see everyday on the screens of our phones, thus offering a dreamlike experience and a reflection on the revolutionary use of technologies and social media.
It is possible that it is the only civilian mobile-phone to have ever reached to those heights, 40.000 meters (13.200 ft.), almost four times the Mount Everest. During the launch it was like really touching the sky with a finger through this technological prosthesis. The phone miraculously survived, even at -60 degrees.
The “outtakes” are all images shot with smartphones, videos uploaded by sometimes anonymous users found online as if they were digital collective unconscious; or video news broadcast by institutional information channels now uploaded on YouTube by random users or independent news outlets. I liked the concept of “outtake” as it is used in cinema and music, as the “errors” or leftover of a film, but also as precious extra tracks of a record.