Sursum Corda “Lift Up Your Hearts” (Panels 1 and 2) is a 2 part piece that I started in 2009 and finished in 2010. Both panels were first painted with special Future Living Projects white acrylic latex and then gridded out into half inch squares with pencil. They are each 36″x48″ in size and made with 6,912 squares totaling 13,824 squares all together. The left panel shows a dish used for receiving information and communications from space and the right panel shows the surface of the moon. I had both images in an archive of images that I’ve wanted to use for a long time. The surface of the moon image I was originally going to paint and use as a backdrop for an Apollo 11 model that I built, but has since been destroyed. For that model, I was interested in exploring ideas that had to do with a sort of reverse propaganda system where information is used by people in order to support conspiratorial ideas. In this case, it was about people who believed that we have never been to the moon, like the movie Capricorn One starring OJ Simpson. I did a lot of research on this phenomenon and was fascinated by how convincing some of the stories were that denied that we had ever been to the moon. The piece consisted of an old Apollo 11 model that looked like it was from the 70’s and a surface of the moon that I made out of plaster of Paris and spray painted grey. At the time I was also working on a series of drawings about space exploration called A History of Space and Communication (1926- ).
The title Sursum Corda “Lift Up Your Hearts” (Panels 1 and 2) is taken from a call and response prayer used in the Christian Church. I thought of the left panel as an image of something that is looking and the right panel as a dull response with no answer. Furthermore, I like the idea of the image being pixilated since it echoes the digitizing of information as it travels through space. Finally, I liked the idea of bringing a religious aspect to a purely scientific situation. This is one of the few pieces that I’ve used for both the Future Living Projects and the Associated Artists for Propaganda Research, feeling that it fits into both contexts.