Pericynthion is the point at which a spacecraft launched from Earth into a lunar orbit is nearest the Moon.
Early on in the space program, NASA's original lunar orbiter images were transmitted back to Earth as monochrome strips of information. These were printed, sliced, and taped together by scientists on the ground. The resulting, very high-resolution images have an extraordinary texture resulting from this mix of electronic, mechanical, and hand assembly. Likewise, images from the Russian probes of the same period were transmitted back as ghostly video stills of vague shadows. Pericythion emulates the transmission of these first closeups of the Moon in a remix of these photos, unraveling them so as to reconstruct them over time, layering them in a patchwork over the orb of the Moon. Pericynthion blends art and science, exploring the artifacts, materiality, perception, and poetics that emerge from scientific practices.
Pericynthion is part of an ongoing series of works revolving around the Moon by Clea T. Waite: Moonwalk (2010), Moonphases (2012), The Book of Luna (2014), and who know’s if the moon’s a balloon? (2014).