Home  About    Index    1    2   3
<   >

View more from theme:

Forging Connections

19-20. Conference gifts

2021-2023. Acquired by Adryon Kozel during fieldwork.

#19. Mala prayer bracelets

A gift from Bailey Burns, one via another attendee, during the Analog Astronaut
Conference, May 4-7, 2023.

The objects in this section represent a wider practice of exchanging and gifting that I’ve observed at every space event I have attended during my fieldwork. The patches come from many places and people and represent a wide variety of official NASA missions, analog missions, and personal projects and organisations.

The patches and flight suits that analog astronauts wear during simulated missions on Earth replicate the material culture and aesthetics of ‘real’ spaceflight (#3). Although from an outsider’s perspective (and even to others in the space community), these aesthetic decisions can seem like playacting or wishful performance, these pieces actively work to attune enthusiasts on the ground not only with their space-flown counterparts in low earth orbit but also with their own future selves.

This collection of tiny trinkets which were given to me and many other attendees over the course of several days at the Analog Astronaut Conference in May 2023. These small tokens circulate particular hopes for how the space community might act and think, and produce a kind of Maussian exchange to create and reinforce relationships.

#18. Section of Camera Cable

Destroyed during the first orbital launch attempt of SpaceX Starship on April 20, 2023. 

A gift during the Analog Astronaut Conference, May 4-7, 2023.

This piece of cable comes from the same SpaceX Starship launch in April 2023 as the smashed camera lens (#25). Located as close as possible to the rocket as it took off, this cable acted as a vital lifeline which sent the command from me positioned a safe distance away, to the cameras. After the launch destroyed the cable, I cut it into pieces because I thought some people will appreciate it. But this is the cable that sent commands to start the closest camera to humanity’s largest rocket. 

I was carrying these pieces around and giving them out because people don’t often get confronted with reality. There’s the idea of space, but not many of us have gone to space. So I hand this to people and say, “Here you go”. There’s something special about it, it’s grounded in truth, in reality. 

Like, I know you’ve been in love with spaace your whole life, but that’s insanely otherworldly. So here’s literally a piece of space, or a little bit of something that was important for perserving the history of spaceflight. I give it to people to make space more real and tangible.

Forging Connections