CLE: The immediate reference here is the Voyager Golden Record. Where the Record takes its message about humanity out into the cosmos, The Last Pictures stays close to home. Do you see these two space-borne time-capsules working in concert?
Trevor Paglen: The broad strokes of the two projects are similar, but they are very different from one another. The Last Pictures will remain in Earth orbit, haunting the planet indefinitely. For me, the image of a spacecraft in perpetual orbit is quite unlike one that travels off to the stars. Moreover, the Golden Record has images of a feel-good utopia. There are no images of war, inequality, strife or suffering. The Last Pictures is a much more melancholic project. It is a story about a deeply troubled species whose future is very uncertain.
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