Spaceship Earth detail.

Spaceship Earth Crumbles, Obvious Metaphor Recognized

In September 2006, on the campus of the State University at Kennesaw, Georgia, a Finnish-born artist named "Eino" unveiled a 175-ton, $1 million replica of the earth. He called it Spaceship Earth. It was 15 feet across, made of 88 blocks of dark blue Brazilian quartzite held together with industrial glue, and was topped with a striding bronze figure of David Brower, a pioneering environmentalist. Sealed in the center was a time capsule, not meant to touch air again until 3006.

On the night of December 29, 2006, campus police felt the floor of their office shake. They ran outside, and saw that Spaceship Earth had literally disintegrated into a pile of twisted metal and broken stone. The time capsule sat exposed in the rubble, a thousand years too soon. An engraved phrase, "our fragile craft," was still visible amid the debris.

Eino flew out the next day and immediately declared that his artwork had been sabotaged. Campus officials countered that local police had found no evidence of vandalism, and ascribed the collapse to bad glue and a lot of rain. If a $1 million dollar sculpture can collapse after only 90 days' exposure to warm Georgia rainfall, that doesn't say much about the ability of Eino; likewise, a campus that harbors industrial-strength statue-wreckers wouldn't be good PR for Kennesaw. Reputations are obviously at stake here, and probably a lot of insurance money as well.

Eino has vowed to return to Kennesaw and rebuild Spaceship Earth, stronger than ever. He lives in Pahrump, Nevada, so perhaps he can draw inspiration from his hometown's "Home Giant," which has withstood the elements for decades. To be fair, however, it probably hasn't seen much rain.

[01/13/2007]

Kennesaw State University

Address:
Paulding Ave., Kennesaw, GA
Directions:
Kennesaw State University. I-75 exit 271 (one exit north of Town Center Mall). Take Chastain Rd west for three traffic lights, then turn right onto Kennesaw State University Drive at the ball fields. Take a quick left onto Marietta Drive, then left again onto Paulding Ave. Park here, then walk north past the parking deck. Spaceship Earth stands on the southeast corner of the Social Sciences Building.
Hours:
Check in with campus police re: parking. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
770-423-6000
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