Posted in Culture, Family, Home, Personal

The Last Pictures Project “Miss Liz-Style” Part I

“Of all the images that have ever been made, would you be able to select just 100 to represent our species and human achievement? Trevor Paglen’s Last Pictures is a project to do not only that, but also launch those images into geosynchronous orbit around Earth – all so that long after humans are gone, any space-wanderer will be able to fathom what humanity was all about.”

When I first read about this project, I thought the idea was brilliant, something right up my alley. When I read the comments in the original article, I realized that there were those in this world that look at things through a scientific eye, and those that look at this world through an artful eye.

“Any group of people would come up with 100 totally different images, but that is part of the fun. It’s an impossible project. Part of it was to engage peoples’ imaginations,” says artist Trevor Paglen.

It’s true. There were people that wanted to include art and people that wanted to showcase the technological advances made by humans. Picking only 100 photos to represent thousands of years of evolution and progress seems difficult to most, but fun to me! I wanted to get in on the action (you should, too!) The daunting task of narrowing down millions of possibilities into only 100 photos, the research, the memories, the pride as a human being, the misery, all of the emotions attached to a single picture is what made me want to do this. It’s an entertaining project, thought-provoking, and something everybody can do. One night a week, each member of your family can present 10 photos they think would be perfect for the time capsule and then vote on which ones to include in your personal list. Just a thought. I’ve decided to break mine up into 5 series, each with 20 photos, a la VH1 style! This week I will be presenting my “Dear to Me” series.

1. Dear to Me
2. Misery
3. Science & Technology
4. History
5. Potpourri

Hey, that rhymes!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my selections. Would you include that one? Do you think this one is too obvious? Why would I include something so abstract? You get the idea…
Here is my list, in no particular order:

1. My Kids

I know I said, “in no particular” order, but did you really think I wouldn’t put my kids first? No, and you wouldn’t either. Of course my kids get a picture, don’t judge! Besides, I think they make an excellent representation of human children. Also, I just really, really love this photo.

What mother doesn’t think their children deserve to be remembered and commemorated for billions of years?

2. Map of the World

I know the world is an ever changing place and by the time aliens get the capsule, Earth will most likely be obliterated, but I thought it would be nice to include a map of the physical world at the time the artifact is put into orbit.

3. Texas – Because I said so.

Maybe a map of Texas with the shape and images portraying Texan things wouldn’t suit everybody’s needs for 1 of 100 pictures used to represent the entire human race, but hey, this is MY list, “Miss Liz-Style.” Don’t like it? Make your own. Remember the Alamo!

4. Jesus Christ on the Cross

I chose this particular image due to its artistic and religious value. I wanted a picture of the crucifixion of Christ to represent our belief in God or a higher power. While certainly the entire human race isn’t Christian, this is a current example of many peoples beliefs, combined with a wonderfully colorful and artistic interpretation. The idea that He dies on the cross for our sins has been a part of human culture for more than 2000 years and should most definitely be represented.

5. Space Program

By now, if they have found the capsule, the aliens have realized that Earthlings have figured out how to put shit into space. I thought we should include an example of a spacecraft we not only created, but also launched.

I think if you’re from Texas, especially from the Houston-area, you have a special place in your heart for NASA and the Space Program in general.

6. Metropolis Skyline

This picture moves me beyond words. I adore the Houston skyline, especially at night. I want the aliens to see skyscrapers, highways, transportation in action, electricity and technology all working together in harmony to create this human utopia.

What can I say? I’m a city girl at heart!

7. Music

How can you portray a sound through a still life photograph? I knew I wanted music on my list, it’s been a part of being a human since the beginning of humans. Do I submit a picture of instruments? sheet music? a staff, treble clef, and b flat image? my favorite band on stage performing for the masses?

I chose this picture after searching through thousands because I felt like it was the most moving expression of music I could find. It’s beautiful and meaningful and evokes emotions the same way music can. I’m certain that aliens have figured out how to make and play musical instruments so I don’t think there would be much confusion for them when finding this picture.

8. Dog – Mans Best Friend

The Ancient Egyptians worshiped cats, modern man has found the dog to be his best friend. (Although Hipsters and memes may disagree with me.) This is my dog, Pony Boy and he is the cats meow.

9. Floating the River

It wouldn’t be prudent to not include a pastime enjoyed by many, my family included. The aliens may perceive this as a form of transportation and that’s fine. It’s just a really fun, relaxing, beer-drinking, music-listening, sun-bathin’ slow form of transportation.

10. Art

I think the human expression through art is something valuable to give the aliens. This is a collage of famous portraits and I think they are all lovely.

11. Tattoo

Throughout history, man has found various ways to modify the human body, whether it’s piercing, binding, stretching, gauging, or my favorite… tattoos! I got this one in honor of my grandson, Lyric and my family’s profound love of music.

12. The Human Body

I thought it imperative to include a photograph of both the male and female body sans clothing. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find naked women and men that isn’t pornographic in nature? Luckily, I found this little gem and I think it is striking and perfect. A wonderful blend of anatomy and art.

13.  Food Glorious Food

Ah, food. Sustenance. We couldn’t live without, yet we have perfected the art of creating, cooking, and serving it. I love food. All food. (Except curry & coconut.) This should have been #2.

14. Love

How can you show “love” in a picture? I’m back to the music query. I enjoyed the research on this topic most because I saw so many examples of photographs captioned “love” and they were all very touching. The love for your spouse, significant other, child, parent, friend, etc is so hard to relay without words, but I liked this one best.

FWIW- I wasn’t trying to exclude same-sex couples. I think the aliens should know we weren’t solely a heterosexual race, I just went with this one because I thought it was so sweet.

15. Family

I wanted to include family because if there is one thing that binds us humans together, no matter race, nationality, political views, or tastes, we are all family and come from family. It was my sisters idea to include a picture that had several generations in it because most animal species don’t stay together the way a human family does. (I thought that was brilliant!) I wonder if alien families stay together?

16. Hand Holding

Parents hold their children’s hands to guide them, lovers hold hands to be connected, we hold the hands of our elders for support. It’s universal. I love this picture. This one is for you, Mom.

17. Sunrise

A sunrise over water is so gorgeous to watch as it’s happening. Also, I think it is probably relatable to aliens and they might like a glimpse into what the sunrise looks like from Earth.

18. The Stars at Night Are Big & Bright…

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that aliens are familiar with the stars. I mean, they will find the capsule in outer-space, so yeah, that’s a given. But do they know what our moon and the stars look like from our Earthly point of view? They will!

19. A Baby

Is there anything in this world more precious than a human baby? That’s for the aliens to decide. It was my sister that suggested this so I included this picture of her daughter, Abigayle after her first bath! Also, I think the towel with the head wrap will confuse the aliens and I kinda like that.

20. The Fabulous Bowling For Soup!

You didn’t seriously think I wouldn’t give the coolest guys on Earth a chance to live in infamy for billions of years, did you? This is my “Dear to Me” series, and if you know me, you know how dear to me BFS is. ‘Nuff said.

That’s all she wrote for today’s list. Wonderful, pretty, beautiful, lovely things to share with the universe. But with the good, comes the bad so my next installment will be titled “Misery.” You’ll see death, famine, and 18 more. Hope to post it tomorrow. Start thinking about your list!

-Miss Liz

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Author:

I'm a forty-something river goddess, music enthusiast, campground manager, wife, momma to eight, and doting grandmother to three... Mostly, I'm just a gal that has a lot to say.

3 thoughts on “The Last Pictures Project “Miss Liz-Style” Part I

  1. That’s the crux of the project! It does make you think! I spent all last night pouring over ideas and pictures that I didn’t think should be left out. Narrowing it down, using your imagination, hell, I even texted several people and posed the question. Thank you, Shawn 🙂

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