Exhibition Space considers the aesthetic and conceptual implications of photography and its pivotal role in two early milestones of the US exploration of space. Begun in 1948 using the most powerful telescope in the world, the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey was the first systematic attempt of photograph and catalogue the visible universe. The resulting 1,870 plates took ten years to complete, and are some of the most technically advanced prints ever made. Project Echo was the first manmade object photographed in space. Hastily conceived as NASA's first response to Sputnik, Echo I was an inflatable Mylar sphere 100 feet in diameter, a communications satellite whose primary mission was to be visible to the naked eye. Photos of Echo began appearing in the US press almost immediately after its launch in 1960. Meanwhile, models of Echo, called "the most beautiful object ever put in space," were exhibited at the US Capitol, and at World's Fairs throughout the 1960s.
Greg Allen is a writer and filmmaker based in Washington DC. He has published his art writings in Cabinet magazine and The New York Times, and on his blog, greg.org: the making of, since 2001. Allen published Canal Zone Richard Prince Yes Rasta: Collected Court Documents from Cariou v. Prince, in 2011, and exhibited paintings at both Postmasters Gallery and Printed Matter in 2012.