A Space Program

Van Neistat / USA / 2015 / 72 min
Thu 5 May, 19.30

Opening film / European premiere

In A Space Program, internationally acclaimed artist Tom Sachs takes us on an intricately handmade journey to the red planet, providing audiences with an intimate, first person look into his studio and methods. The film is both a piece of art in its own right and a recording of Sachs’ historic piece, Space Program 2.0: MARS, which opened at New York’s Park Avenue Armory in 2012.

Tom Sachs' genre-defying mixed media sculptures, often recreations of modern icons using everyday materials, show all of the work that goes into producing an object — a reversal of modernization's trend towards products with cleaner, simpler, and more perfect edges. Sachs' sculptures are conspicuously handmade, lovingly cobbled together from plywood, resin, steel, and ceramic. The scars and imperfections in the sculptures tell the story of how they came into being and remove them from the realm of miraculous conception.

For Space Program 2.0: MARS, Tom and his team built an entire space program from scratch. They were guided by the philosophy of bricolage: creating and constructing from available yet limited resources. They ultimately sent two female astronauts to Mars in search of the answer to humankind’s ultimate question… are we alone?

About the director

Van Neistat is a filmmaker and artist from New York City. Neistat is a long-time collaborator of Tom Sachs and the director of several Sachs’ short films. A Space Program is his first feature film.



“A SPACE PROGRAM is rich in the core elements that have always propelled humanity’s flights of fancy: imagination and the right tools.”
The New York Times

 “An alternately entrancing and amusing documentary-fiction hybrid that marries existential questions with absurdist humor.... A testament to the joy of resourcefully fashioning the exceptional from the ordinary.”

 “In addition to being a funny, invigorating and inspirational ode to being the cleverest kid in the room, it’s a remarkable testament to the suspension of disbelief.”

“A radically DIY fictional space-documentary about a trip to Mars—think Michel Gondry directing Carl Sagan’s Cosmos with John Carpenter writing the script.”

 “Great fun!... Neistat's snappy visual style is a good match for Sachs' idiosyncratic creations... nail-biting, edge of your seat stuff!”


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