Orbital Reflector

Trevor Paglen, Nine Reconnaissance Satellites over the Sonora Pass, 2008, C-Print, 48 x 60 inches; courtesy of Trevor Paglen, Metro Pictures, New York; Altman Siegel, San Francisco; © Trevor Paglen
Trevor Paglen, Nine Reconnaissance Satellites over the Sonora Pass, 2008, C-Print, 48 x 60 inches; courtesy of Trevor Paglen, Metro Pictures, New York; Altman Siegel, San Francisco; © Trevor Paglen

At 10:34 a.m. on December 3, 2018, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Two hours later, 350 miles above Earth’s surface, it released 64 satellites into orbit for the largest satellite launch in US history. One of those, Orbital Reflector, will be the first “purely artistic” object in space.

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The Vertical Earth Kilometer

The Friedrichsplatz and Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany, photo by Carroy via Wikimedia Commons
The Friedrichsplatz and Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany, photo by Carroy via Wikimedia Commons

Every five years in Kassel, Germany, documenta is a contemporary art exhibition lasting 100 days. Each edition presents hundreds of works in and around the city, typically conceptual and frequently site-specific. Of the thousands of works shown since the first documenta in 1955, sixteen have become permanent installations in Kassel.

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Zeitz MOCAA

Zeitz MOCAA; photo © Iwan Baan, courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA
Zeitz MOCAA; photo © Iwan Baan, courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA

On September 22, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) opened in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s a major development, locally and globally, and is described in superlatives: the first major contemporary art museum in Africa; the largest museum to open in Africa in a century; and the largest contemporary African art museum in the world.

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Maurizio Cattelan, Not Afraid of Love

Maurizio Cattelan, Untitled (2001), installation view at the Monnaie de Paris, 2016; photo by Zeno Zotti, courtesy Monnaie de Paris
Maurizio Cattelan, Untitled, 2001, installation view at the Monnaie de Paris, 2016; photo by Zeno Zotti, courtesy of the Monnaie de Paris

Five years after Maurizio Cattelan announced his retirement, following a 2011 retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York, a new exhibition at the Monnaie de Paris marks his return to the art world. Not Afraid of Love includes 44 artworks installed within the Monnaie’s 18th century salons and is Cattelan’s largest exhibition in Europe to date.

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Imagine Peace Tower

Imagine Peace Tower, Viðey Island, Iceland; image via Imagine Peace Tower © Yoko Ono
Imagine Peace Tower, Viðey Island, Iceland; image via Imagine Peace Tower © Yoko Ono

On Viðey Island, near Reykjavík, Iceland, a beam of light shines up into the sky, penetrating the clouds up to an altitude of at least 4,000 meters. The light comes from the Imagine Peace Tower, a work conceived by Yoko Ono as a memorial to John Lennon and dedicated to peace.

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Perception, České Budějovice

Jan Šépka, Perception, České Budějovice, Czech Republic, 2016; photo © Tomas Maly
Jan Šépka, Perception, České Budějovice, Czech Republic, 2016; photo © Tomas Maly

In České Budějovice, a historic capital in the south of the Czech Republic, the city’s public art gallery has temporarily appropriated a fountain within the town square. Designed by Jan Šépka Architects for the Domu umění města (House of Art), the project creates an experience to reconsider perceptions of public space.

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Ólafur Elíasson at the Château de Versailles

Ólafur Elíasson, The Gaze of Versailles, 2016; installation view at the Château de Versailles; photo by Anders Sune Berg, © Ólafur Elíasson
Ólafur Elíasson, The Gaze of Versailles, 2016; installation view at the Château de Versailles; photo by Anders Sune Berg, © Ólafur Elíasson

Each summer since 2008, the Château de Versailles presents a contemporary monographic exhibition by a guest artist. For the ninth edition in 2016, Ólafur Elíasson has installed a series of site-specific works – three in the gardens and six inside the palace – to produce new perceptions of the iconic site.

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