Two Iowa City Artists Say: Moon Or Bust!

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Tomorrow night, another "moon landing" will be attempted. However, this historic event won't be coordinated by NASA nor even Virgin Airlines, but by two intrepid artists and performers from Iowa City. Their landing will be televised live on PATV 18.

I was able to get a direct communication link to the artists, Derek Andes and Josh Ecklow, who are aboard their art/spaceship,  the Orbital Video Archive. Below is the transmission:

SO: can you then describe how SpaceCamp, Lunar Seas, and the moon landing came about?

Josh Ecklow: Sure, here's my side of it at least!

SpaceCamp is the artist/astronaut collaboration between myself and Derek Andes. After meeting at the University of Iowa, in the Intermedia graduate program, we were on vacation and were taking a tour of the space shuttle when it was accidentally launched with only us onboard! Once off-planet, we spied a space station, which we later found to be called the Orbital Video Archive, and decided to stay there, setting up camp and making new works with the VHS tapes stored within. 

We've been up there a few years now, making videos, mixtapes, and lots of other stuff, and we felt like taking another vacation. One day, we found some promotional material for a cruise line called Lunar Seas, that offers trips to the moon. We invited all of our friends to Earth to set sail with us and we've been on our way for about a month. We'll be landing there tomorrow and then will be spending some time exploring the many lakes and seas of the lunar surface.

Here are a few links:,

Derek Andes: Here is the basic info on the landing: 

SpaceCamp's Cruise to the Moon LANDS!
Lunar seas cruise lines first ship, the Tranquility will arrive at The Moon on Thursday, March 29th, at 7:00 PM. All cruisers are invited for our first shore excursion, hosted by SpaceCamp! Our first steps onto the surface will be broadcast, live, on PATV 18!

If you are going to disembark with SpaceCamp onto the lunar surface, come to PATV Studios at around 6:30! All are welcome to stretch and shake out your space legs.

Attire is lunar casual.

SO: How long do you propose to be in space?

JE: Well, we had always planned to stay up indefinitely, but I might hint that SpaceCamp may be coming back to Earth after the cruise.

SO: A re-entry, then? Planned or malfunction? It seems like a lot of satellites are falling from the sky these days.

JE: Hard to say what the future may hold.

DA: Well, as Sun Ra would say, "Space is the place". I think even as we re-enter the gravity of Earth, things will never quite be the same. We've just spent to much time out there. I imagine us spending quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to leave again.

JE: But if we end back on Earth, it can be pretty safely said that we would try to get back.

SO: Why not leave Earth’s orbit  to explore deeper space?

JE: Not a lot of tapes out there.

DA: Yet.

JE: The Orbital Video Archive always offered a pretty perfect situation for us. Here, there’s lots of materials to use in our work, solitude, and some semblance of an internet connection.

SO: Have you come into contact with any other intelligent life forms out there?

JE: Not that we’ve found yet. But we have a good feeling.

DA: I’ve been seeing this strange character around the cruise ship lately… I’m not sure that he left with us. He appears to be made of straw.

JE: Oh yeah, I’ve seen him too… actually, now that you mention it, someone was saying he was from a place called Xetal. I hadn’t thought to ask if that was another planet.

SO: I saw on your website that others visited SpaceCamp. Can anyone visit?

JE: Part of the reason we wanted to go on this cruise was to see our old Earth friends again. It’s pretty difficult for anyone to get to the Orbital Video Archive.

DA: Some have mentioned that the Tranquility seems to remind them a lot of Iowa City, that sometimes it is difficult to distinguish their home from their cabin on the ship. I imagine there are certain anomalies that make navigating this difficult, which is why we recommend keeping a Lunar Seas floatation device nearby.

JE: Yes, it’s safer that way.

DA: We’ve also been hearing some faint sounds coming from the moon. We’re not sure what it is, but it seems to get louder as we approach. We’re excited to see what we might find when we arrive.

SO: If you had a specific message for us Terrans, something you could say quickly if you knew danger and disconnection was imminent, what would that be?



SO: This has been a very informative interview. A couple last questions: after the moon, then what or where? And are there plans to make training/learning centers here on Terra so that more can be involved in your heroic mission?

JE: I can hint that after we have discussed establishing a space agency for artists, should we ever find ourselves back on Earth without a way back to space.

 “The Cosmos is a magnet… Once you’ve been there, all you can think of is how to get back.” –Yuri Romanenko

DA: “The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. The journey for each of us begins here… in a ship of the imagination.” –Carl Sagan.

Thanks Carl…

JE: Carl Sagan Every Day.

 SO: And thank you two. Good luck and Godspeed tomorrow on your moon landing.

At this point, our communication was broken, presumably because their AOL Free Trial ran out.  Remember to see their landing LIVE on PATV 18 tomorrow night at 7pm!

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