Tin Can Blues: Moonage, Earthrise & Bowie
Source TitleThe Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie Symposium
PublisherThe University of Melbourne and Deakin University with the support of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation
University of Melbourne Author/sGoodwin, Mitchell
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsGoodwin, M. (2015). Tin Can Blues: Moonage, Earthrise & Bowie. The Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie Symposium, The University of Melbourne and Deakin University with the support of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.
Access StatusOpen Access
David Bowie emerged during a period of intense space dreaming, the late 1960s. His multiple personas and genre hopping musical constructions at times took this on directly. His lyrical observation that “planet Earth is blue and there is nothing that I can do” and the NASA Earthrise image were iconic cultural objects of the early environmental movement. This sense of beauty and fragility and helplessness is something we still feel today as the Earth as cultural icon becomes a virtual icon of network culture. In recent years however, our relationship with space has changed, as indeed has our relationship with Bowie. Both have been elusive and curious for some time – Bowie it would seem disappeared along with the Space Shuttle. Today however, the romance has re-emerged as we chase asteroids in slickly produced NASA animations and put robots on Mars. The virtuality of contemporary space exploration mirrors the virtuality of Bowie. Both exist most predominately online, both fulfill a strong nostalgic turn and now Bowie and Apollo and Endeavour are finding a new type of cultural immortality in the exhibition space.
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