Noxious Sector Projects
312 S. Washington St.
Seattle WA 98104

Scott Rogers

Empty Reliquary

If the sky and the stars were to fall, all we'd have left is darkness. Darkness, and the light of the moon. But perhaps that's all we've ever had anyways... perhaps...

In the words of the artist Scott Rogers:

Empty Reliquary is the title I have assigned to a recently unearthed photograph from the NASA archives. Taken during the spaceflight of Lunar Orbiter 1 at 16:35 GMT on August 23, 1966, the image is clear evidence of an extensive cover-up propagated during the Space Race. The photograph is familiar to many as the iconic first view of Earth taken by a spacecraft. In actual fact the appearance of the Earth within this photograph was constructed artificially, as an elaborate hoax. Upon the realization by NASA scientists that the Earth in reality did not exist, Hollywood special-effects artists were hired at great expense to prevent the spread of mass panic. A model of what the Earth had been thought to look like was superimposed (using state-of-the-art techniques) onto the original images taken from the Moon's surface. The result was heralded as "the photograph of the century" up until the "Earthrise" photographs were fabricated two years later during the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

The implications of this finding may not be immediately clear. If the Earth is a hoax, then the inevitable question is where are we? That the answer is not obvious is part of the mystery -- the only thing that we know for sure is that, in the picture, we still see the moon -- even if the Earth as we know it has vanished.

In a bizarre way though, it sort of makes sense. It is the moon that holds sway over the ocean tides, or over werewolves. Some people even think the moon influences their moods, their dreams and their ability to think clearly. Long a source of fascination for people from all cultures and walks of life, the moon has always been the mythic horizon of life as we know it. And now we know -- the moon is far more than merely a myth -- it is the moon that reveals the myth of the Earth and sky itself.