Space is the only truly reliable archive we have.
We scan light and sound waves for exterrestrial life and use it study the our solar system. To me it feels romantic. I imagine someone on another planet, very far away, like a cosmic amateur radio operator, listening in and trying to make sense of our planet. Unfortunately most of the content we have been broadcasting into space is frankly, nonsense.
Monolith is an extraterrestrial satellite broadcasting station. It takes recordings from the historic Soyuz 4 mission from 1969, re-processing them as generative visual artworks, to be then rebroadcasts them back to space as binary pixel values.
Soyuz_4 was the first spacecraft to successful dock to another, signaling the beginning our ability to live in space and have a continuing human space presence on the International Space Station. It was at the height of the space race. With both the USSR and the USA trying to flex their might and muscles, which in the late 1960s meant putting a human on the moon.
The Russia and the US we have now are in many ways similar or worse. And space has taken on a new significance.
It is peacocking of national. Much like the Egyptian pharaohs, erecting giant phallic symbols, so high, as if they had the power to mingle with the gods, to create the perception of power that held their kingdoms together.