The Golden Record

16 May - 20 June 2009

G39 is pleased to present The Golden Record, an ambitious and far-reaching curatorial project by the artist Mel Brimfield. It presents over 130 of the UK’s most prominent artists, including Bedwyr Williams, Paul Becker, Helen Sear, S Mark Gubb, Holly Davey and Miranda Whall. The artists have offered their responses to humanity’s most ambitious outreach project, from painterly reworkings of nostalgic photography by Richard Moon, to Simon Le Ruez’s sculpture of forbidden charms, and work from acerbic fictitious duo Bob and Roberta Smith. For the project Brimfield has invited a selection of the UK’s high-profile comedians to contribute alternative greetings to our closest extraterrestrial neighbours.

' entertaining fusion of art and comedy that's anything but down to earth' **** Metro.

The project is an ironic and contemporary remake of The Golden Record, a phonograph record contained in the two Voyager spacecrafts launched in 1977. The original Golden Record, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing selected pieces of music, sound and imagery chosen to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, is intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or far future humans, that may chance upon it.

116 ‘Images of Earth’ were compiled for The Golden Record by Carl Sagan and his team of NASA scientists in 1977. In 2008 Brimfield invited 116 artists to produce an artwork that corresponds with a title assigned from the list, which features such oddities as Forest Scene with Mushrooms, House Interior with Artist and Fire, and Old Man with Beard and Glasses (the original selection of images can be viewed in full at The resulting works all follow the standard size of 31.5 x 31.5cm – the measurements of a vinyl record sleeve.

A series of short video works have also been produced to replace the 55 original audio greetings in different languages. These feature high-profile UK comedians including Simon Munnery, Kevin Eldon, John Hegley, Wil Hodgson and Robin Ince who explore such earthly concepts as Being Welsh, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, bingo and eggcups.

As well as the artists featured on g39’s website, other contributors include: Pamela Brabants, Gordon Cheung, Ruth Claxton, Layla Curtis, Adam Dant, Brian Dewan, Geraint Evans, Leo Fitzmaurice, Rachel Goodyear, Hideko Inoue, Tim Machin, Andrew Mania, Sally O’Reilly, Rachel Pantechnicon, Paul Rooney, Bob and Roberta Smith, and Jessica Voorsanger.