We are perfectly comfortable with space — so comfortable that we send our dead pets on orbital missions and joke casually about the difficulty of passing gas in space suits. And yet, little more than forty years ago, space was the great unknown, the “last frontier.” The prospects of its exploration instilled a fearful fascination in millions of hearts around the globe and, when JFK delivered his iconic “We choose to go to the moon” speech in 1961 at Rice University, the world let out a collective gasp of wonder. To pay tribute to this incredible moment in the trajectory of modern technology and exploration, photographer and videographer Christopher Larsen produced his new short film, Our Conquest.
In reaction to NASA’s recent contractual agreement with the transport services company SpaceX for the development of new space technology, Larsen decided to travel back in time to the opening throes of the Space Race. For material, the photographer dedicated several weeks to detailed research, poring over The Prelinger Archives’ recordings from JFK’s Rice University speech and NASA’s archival images of the first U.S. space missions. Combining his talents as a photographer with several facets of sound design, Larsen presents the viewer with a glimpse into the past. It is a visual and auditory collage, nostalgically reflecting on an event which defined the 20th century.
Check out a few of our favorite moments from the time-bending video mashup below: