Aleksandra Mir

Satellite Porto Alegre


Satellite Crashes Down into Porto Alegre, Brazil

An estimated 100-ton satellite of unknown origins left a 30-square meter footprint on the banks of the Guaiba River when it crashed here on Friday, September 6 at 4.45am. Its sudden appearance has aroused the curiosity of scientists, traditionalists, environmentalists and homeless people living in the vicinity of Camp Farrukhabad.

So far, no nation has claimed ownership of the artificial satellite. Because more than 60 known space programs exist globally—the earliest ones tracing back to the Cold War era up to today’s private initiative in space (all contributing to a junk-culture civilization)—the source can only be speculated.

João Cabral, a homeless man who eye-witnessed the moment of impact, described the occurrence as a loud fireball heading toward Camp Farrukhabad where its horses were going wild. Luckily, the satellite landed on an empty stretch of the riverbed. The area is cordoned off under police protection because the lucrative black market trade in space junk could encourage looting.

The Mercosur authorities consider the incident a major long term risk factor for the population. With the amount of accumulated space debris orbiting our earth this kind of event is likely to happen again soon...possibly in a densely populated area, costing many lives and much devastation to the environment as well as to private property.

Meanwhile, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, the artistic director and chief curator of the 9th Bienal do Mercosul, said, “The Biennal curatorial committee has decided to incorporate the satellite into its program as a 'found' work of art. We are intrigued by its sculptural quality and its resemblance to traditional public art in city squares and public greens throughout the world. It is a serendipitous contribution to our exhibition that focuses on atmospheric disturbances, the interaction between nature and culture, and the ways that visual art addresses mysterious, unpredictable and seemingly uncontrollable phenomenon."

9th Bienal do Mercosul
Weather Permitting / Se o clima for favorável / Si el tiempo lo permite
13 September–10 November 2013
Porto Alegre, Brazil