March 24, 2009

Planetary Art Installations

Springtime is almost here, and as the weather continues to warm I will have a chance to tag along with a friend named Petty who often roams the art galleries of New York. His marathon to visit as many "gallery openings" as possible within two hours is quite fun, moreso that the primary method of hydration is free wine and beer. Sometimes I would come across some art installations that would just often trap me glassy-eyed staring at them as I hold my fifth glass of red wine.
From a cosmic perspective, there is plenty of free booze (energy) in the universe. And I assume that 'life' would arise from booze, such as "us" to consume it. Then I would like to hypothesize that there would be cosmic art installations as well from these restless beings.
For example, Advanced Technological Civilizations could "sprinkle" specific crystals to fashion artificially-created or modded rings around planets to create planetary works of art, or perhaps use nanobot dust to create animated rings.
Natural planetary rings are a true beauty, but there's no telling how the creatives would use nature's idea as an inspiration to make something new. Creativity can never be contained, thus planetary-hacking might just be a matter of time.
Aside from the aesthetics behind such a planetary exhibit, I can only deduce that it must be cleverly designed to provide an obvious mark that it was created artificially and that it was done having art or self-expression in mind. I am assuming that the sense of artistry and creativity is inherent in sentient beings, with the capacity for interstellar travel for the advanced ones.
It would be a stretch to try to imagine how beauty would be expressed by advanced civilizations, but one thing I can speculate is that their art installations probably have a mathematical aspect woven into it, perhaps some code embedded in the ring patterns.
Or perhaps it would be so striking as to be banksy.
Or perhaps it would just be so plain nonsensical that we would immediately recognize it as artificially made, in which case we might consider it as cosmic vandalism.
Exoplanets are so numerous that they lend themselves unwitting targets for planetary artistry and vandalism. Dressing up planets would almost be mundane for anyone who have mastered space travel.
In Manhattan, never have I seen so many art galleries in one area. They are packed in such a way that you may be able to graze more than 10 of them on foot in a span of one hour.
Perhaps there is a stellar "city" somewhere in the Milky Way, hustling and bustling with the myriad of "life". Our star is located in the outskirts of the galaxy and our nearest neighbor is about 4 light years away, Alpha Centauri. Maybe we are in the galactic countryside, and there are no art galleries or art installations nearby, yet.
But our neighborhood is still a galactic city in the making. Some few hundreds of years from now our own solar system will be bustling with interplanetary activity. And perhaps then we will see a glimpse of planetary art installations in our neighborhood. Jupiter? Saturn? Neptune? Perhaps Venus with artificial rings! We can only imagine.
As for those advanced beings out there that got an earlier evolutionary headstart, they have yet to exhibit their presence. And if so, Fermi asks the classic question, "Where are they? Where could they be?"
Why, they're in the "city", of course--mingling and drinking booze!