Using strategies from graphic design and branding, this project puts me in the role of the client; an individual interested in an exit strategy. In collaboration with designer Jerod Rivera, I ultimately produced a series of speculative boarding passes for travel to five of the most earth-like exoplanets. These tickets marry the obviously fictional with the ambiguously real and uncanny in an effort to anticipate the political imaginary of abandoning the earth. At once an imagining of a potential future and a lamentation for an unsatisfactory present, they investigate space exploration and space tourism as an adult concretization of a childhood need to be subsumed by fantasy.
On the process:
Design of these boarding passes began with a simple idea: I want to imagine what it might be like to charter passage off of the earth. While serving as an exploration of my own fantasy, I also want these tickets to provide viewers with a imaginative space to question reasons why they also might want to abandon the earth.
We began with airline names and logo marks, presuming that each air/space-line would specialize in travel to a particular exoplanet. The research was conducted to locate 5 reasonably earth-like exoplanets discovered in the last decade, based on the Earth Similarity Index (ESI). All names for spaceports are homages to scientists who devoted their work to interstellar travel, space colonization or the physics of relativity.
Over the course of two months, we iterated and refined through the design of five individual boarding passes with material, methodological and formal choices being influenced by how reasonable vs. speculative the destination was (distance). All travel dates are set between 2013 and 2014.
Each ticket has a base layer, information layer and some kind of authenticity layer. Information is printed in OCR font using inkjet for a shiny appearance. They are floating in a shadowbox frame, the same way one might frame a butterfly or historical artifact.
- Jerod Rivera (Graphic Design Assistance)