- This is a postcard for a lecture and film screening I organized on campus last fall. The lecture was by NASA engineer Matt Melis, who spoke on the Columbia accident investigation; the film, screened by the CWRU Film Society, was "Ascent: Commemorating Shuttle," which he produced. (It can be found on YouTube; highly recommended for space and/or photography enthusiasts.)
My initial idea for the postcard was in art nouveau style, with an ornate frame featuring text about the event and mission badges. Ultimately I wound up scrapping that, because I had trouble capturing the way it had looked in my head, and because the text began to seem like too much of a distraction. I kept the flat colors and heavy outlines, which made it look more like a stained glass window. This struck me as appropriate, because launch vehicles always exist on a mythical scale. As the shuttle program fades into history, it joins that pantheon, loses its immediacy, and becomes more abstracted in our collective understanding, like a historical figure turned religious icon. I also wanted to show the shuttle frozen in time in a kind of repose, nestled into the clouds - a real contrast with the violence of a launch, but the kind of visual that suggests itself when you watch from a distance - which the edgeless panel is well-suited for. I want the viewer across the room to look at it on a bulletin board (long after the event it advertised is over) and feel themselves press "pause."
I hope it worked on you.