Skateboards in Space by Tom Sachs

While NASA isn’t taking artists-in-residence any longer, it definitely hasn’t stopped artists from making art about space. In ‘Space Program: Mars’ at the Park Avenue Armory, the artist Tom Sachs and his team imagines and examines the surface of Mars. There have been numerous reviews on it already, by individuals far more qualified than I, so instead I’ll write about my own experience with it.

First off, behold Mission Control.

Tom Sachs: ‘Space Program, Mars’ Mission Control

This one looks like a food truck, but it’s a Mobile Quarantine Facility.

NASA Food Truck? Nope, it’s a Mobile Quarantine Facility.

Here is the Biology Lab:

Biology Lab

When you glance down to check whether you can step on (or touch) something, there’s always a cheeky sign.

Yes, they mean it.

You can get indoctrinated. Seriously! There’s an indoctrination area that requires you to have watched five movies in the film room, and to take written and oral tests, as well as a short task.


When you’re indoctrinated, you can get inside the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM).


There are staff members who go about their business using skateboards and looking as though everything is normal. Quite fun. I’m glad I chose a day to be able to walk through the exhibition instead of watching a performance of it. Examining all the details was interesting, as was exiting the exhibition, which required you to “clean up” via the RISCAR, or the Robert Irwin Scrim Clean Air Room.

The Robert Irwin Scrim Air Room

Naturally, it had Robert Irwin’s portrait hung close by.

Robert Irwin’s portrait hangs near the exit.

The exhibition runs until June 17th.

  1. Hey, I also saw it, but not the function. i was there for a reception during Design Week. And i curiously wandered around. Here and there someone was willing to give some explanation. Fascinating, wasn’t it?

    • I loved it! I wish they let me have a go on the skateboards. Glad you saw it, too! 🙂

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