Brandon Vickerd

Sputnik Returned 2

Presented by Third Shift & Art in the Open

123 Grafton St.

August 24 - September 24, 2017


“Sputnik Returned 2” is an exact rendering of Sputnik, a 20 inch diameter steel sphere with four eight foot antennas, installed as if it has crashed back to earth, its impact crunching a parked sedan. The sleek futuristic design of the satellite, resting lifelessly in car sized crater, recalls a modern day Icarus whose faith in technology lead to hubris and his imminent demise as he fell back to earth. Sputnik Returned 2 has a simple design, both streamlined and reflective, alluding to the space race of the 1950s. Today this design appears as a wonderfully crude relic of the period, a potential unmanned doomsday weapon mirroring the excesses of the cold war while also recalling the proto-modernist sculptures of Brancusi.

Sputnik plummeted into the earth’s atmosphere exactly four months after its launch, where it was incinerated - any individual with a passing knowledge of the atmosphere is aware that it would be impossible for a satellite remain intact upon re-entry. However, the narrative content of Sputnik Returned 2 asks the viewer to suspend their disbelief and engage in the metaphor presented by the object.


Sally Cole, “Art in the Open moves into every nook and cranny of Charlottetown,” The Guardian, August 26, 2017.

Kevin Yarr, “Art in the impound: Sculpture almost towed,” CBC News, August 21, 2017.