Love to laugh out loud? Then you may be the perfect candidate for #laugh, a global collaborative project to create the first piece of art in outer space using the International Space Station’s (ISS) newly acquired 3D printer. While transforming an emotion into art may seem a little far-fetched, Eyal Gever is known for his aptitude for combining art and technology to make 3D sculptures from life-like digital simulations based on moments in time.
The Israeli artist was offered the project in 2014 by Made In Space Inc. that specializes in manufacturing 3D printers for use in microgravity. Realizing the enormous responsibility of being the first artist whose work is created in space, Gever wanted to choose a subject with universal appeal — something that would be appreciated by everyone regardless of country or culture. After mulling over several ideas, the artist settled on creating a 3D visualization of human laughter, an emotion that is loved and treasured by all of humanity.
While that sounds like a good idea, how does one go about capturing the world’s best laughter and transforming it into a work of art? For the first task, Geyer has turned to crowdsourcing. People wishing to send their giggles to space have to download the #laugh app and record their best laughter. The app converts the sound file into a 3D model that resembles a burst of light or a “laugh star” which can be shared on social media and also rated by other app users. The laughter that receives the maximum number of likes and tweets by December 31, will be declared the winner.
The artist will then transmit the design file of the winning laugh to NASA’s Operations Support Center in Alabama, where it will be uploaded via a satellite link to the Additive Manufacturing Facility on board the ISS. The astronauts will print the 3D sculpture of the “laugh star” and release it into orbit where it will float among real stars for eternity, or at least until discovered by extraterrestrials!
Though this is the first time Gever is creating art for space, he is no stranger to unusual projects. His “Water Dancer,” a projection of light on a water wall, features a dancer whose body disperses as she moves. The recently sculpted “Piece of Ocean,” created from a realistic computer simulation of ocean waves, bears an impressive resemblance to the real thing. If these incredible masterpieces are any indication, #laugh will be spectacular. So don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and upload your best belly laughs or loudest giggles before the end of the year. Even if you don’t win, it will bring you and everyone around lots of joy this holiday season.