Dad Won't Come Back

Satellites train of Starlink
Satellites train of Starlink

Dad Won't Come Back

Work produced as part of the creation support project "After",
Abbaye de Maubuisson, TRAM Contemporary art network Paris / Île-de-France, 2020

And if ?after? Earth, there was the Moon and Mars!
And if in our ?next? steps, the Earth had no longer a single no-network area, where even in the most remote and desert areas, our steps could not be done without an omnipresent Internet network!
And if in the world "after" we were prisoners and held by a wire to the paw, infinite and permanent; Thread of our addiction on the big players in the global Internet network, actors of power to have our lives in the big organized data collection, but also to have the sky and "outer" space by flooding it to a frantic pace of thousands of flying objects, light communication satellites.

In contrast to the extremely limited displacement of a large number of humans on Earth during the period of global confinement in March and April 2020, while we were very isolated in our confined spaces, the company Space X (*) of the entrepreneur Elon Musk did not stopped his work of colonization of the sky. Outer space, the object of the common good par excellence, is authoritatively distorted and preempted by private interests.

Intended to create a broadband internet network by putting at least 12000 light satellites into orbit, the Starlink program undeniably produces visible and manifest light pollution by simple observation of the sky. Satellites pass through the sky like shooting stars in a train of light.
Fascinating and poetic, these images are however the testimony of this enterprise of colonization taking place quite simply above our head.

?Dad Won't Come Back? (**) is an online and an in situ installation highlighting this hijacking business by one man, Elon Musk.

?Dad Won't Come Back? is an installation made up
. from the Instagram account ?Starlink_Satellite?, a collection of videos published on the Internet capturing the trains of the Starlink company's satellites passing in the sky,
. ?Starlink Live?, a real-time map of Starlink satellite trains and
. coming soon: from ?Haute Couture Satellites?, a series of pastiche videos and lovers of imaginary trains.

At the heart of the installation, the Instagram account ?Starlink_Satellite? - whose designation is close to the official account: ?Starlink_Satellites? - plays the role of insignificant disruptor in the official images communicated by the company Starlink.
The Instagram account ?Starlink_Satellite? of ?Dad Won't Come Back? is there to testify to the authoritarian disruption of the sky by the company SpaceX.

(*) SpaceX, officially Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is an American company in the field of astronautics and space flight. The company is developing space exploration projects for the Moon and Mars, but also the Starlink program for high-speed access to the Internet by satellites on Earth.

(**) The title of this installation ?Dad Won't Come Back? is inspired by the name of the autonomous recovery barges of the company Starlink, landing platform to allow the recovery of the first stage of rockets at sea SpaceX has two operational barges: ?Just Read the Instructions?, in the Pacific Ocean and ?Of Course I Still Love You?, in the Atlantic Ocean.

In detail
** the Instagram account ?Starlink_Satellite?
Publication on the fly from mid June 2020

This account presents a collection of accumulated Internet videos showing the train of Starlink's satellites passing through the sky. The videos constitutes over time a dataset of videos of Train from Starlink satellites in the sky.

** ?Starlink Live?, the real-time map of Starlink
Production satellite trains and publication mid July 2020
Programming by Sylvie Tissot

The map has a simple aesthetic. Without any reference to the geographic territories, it shows in real time the coordinated movement of the trains of Starlink satellites, each satellite is represented by a simple white dot.

Position data from these satellites are easily accessible as published in the form of structured data -
In the databases, each satellite is defined in real time with precise characteristics:
"OBJECT_ID": "2019-029N",
"EPOCH": "2020-06-13T06:00:00.999648",
"MEAN_MOTION": 15.70811504,
"ECCENTRICITY": 0.0002829,
"INCLINATION": 53.0027,
"RA_OF_ASC_NODE": 184.1942,
"ARG_OF_PERICENTER": 150.1927,
"MEAN_ANOMALY": 346.0475,
"NORAD_CAT_ID": 44247,
"REV_AT_EPOCH": 5912,
"BSTAR": 0.026688,
"MEAN_MOTION_DOT": 0.03946136,
These characteristics give the position, speed, etc. of each satellite in real time.

The map is inspired by maps like or

work in progress
** ?Haute couture satellites?, a series of pastiche videos of imaginary trains
Publication on the fly from the end of June 2020

Very short format videos complement the videos ?found on the Internet?. Made by Albertine, they combine the aesthetics of videos of satellite trains, showing luminous points moving on a black background. Using black paper, sewing pins and light sources, these videos will mimic the trains of Starlink satellites but in our small, confined physical space.

These videos are also published on the ?Starlink_Satellite? Instagram account. They are deliberately tinkered and clumsy, and appear to be deliberately removed from the high technicality of Space X's spatial ambition.

2020 – Albertine Meunier


Starlink Orbit data, videos, pins, black paper, light source




pour la carte en temps réel des trains de satelittes Starlink ; Sylvie Tissot




Technical note


Satellites train of Starlink
Satellites train of Starlink
Real time satellites train of Starlink
Real time satellites train of Starlink
Real time satellites train of Starlink
Interview by Abbaye de Maubuisson team