In 1977, two robotic probes, the Voyager I & II, were launched into space, each containing a golden record. On it was a collection of sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and were intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, to find. The program was led by Astrophysicist Carl Sagan and producer Ann Druyan, who eventually fell in love and married while working on the record. For the record’s final audio piece, the couple recorded Druyan’s brainwaves, heartbeat, and blood pressure to auralize the concept of love.
This book explores three entertwined romances: The romance between the two scientists, the romantic idea that extraterrestrial life exists, and the even more romantic idea that they could show them the idea of love via sound files. The contents of this book were developed based on the Radiolab podcast “Space” featuring Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan, and Neil Degrasse Tyson. Full book can be found here.
As a final takeaway for the reader, the book was designed to contain a golden USB thumb drive, containing the contents of the Golden Record. The experience of the book and data is aimed to channel the purpose of the golden record — an artifact presented for a user to discover the idea of human life and our place in the universe.
Copyright Justin Chun Him Au 2015