FORGOTTEN SPACE

12 images Created 3 Dec 2013

“’My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
- Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley

During the nine-year period that began with Project Mercury and culminated in the 1969 lunar landing, Florida’s coast was routinely lined with American families gazing skyward. They watched as astronauts, crammed into small metal capsules, were catapulted aboard supersonic rockets into the stratosphere on missions whose ultimate goal was attaining President John F. Kennedy’s dream of “going to the moon.” Amid the political conflicts and social discord of America in the 1960s, the quest for the moon functioned as an emotional connective tissue uniting the country.

Today, Cape Kennedy’s launch complexes, the background to this program’s lofty and celebrated achievements, are bathed in a funereal glow. Forgotten Space: Abandon in Place uses color photography to document these launch sites, rocket installations and mission control stations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), once the centerpiece of America’s fervent space race. The imagery examines the metaphors of human exploration, and illustrates the way these great symbols of American achievement have faded from human consciousness. The Kennedy optimism that drove the space program’s infancy and unified a society under the banner of scientific exploration in the midst of transformative socio-political change is gone, its physical remnants entombed and left as aging relics in the sands of Florida.
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