If we received an extraterrestrial message, how would we interpret it? What would it mean for humanity? What meaning might we attribute to a message from an alien civilization?

Decoding an extraterrestrial signal and understanding its message would present unprecedented challenges.

This open call is for everyone – the public as well as specialists and experts from all fields – to collaborate in decoding the extraterrestrial message created for A Sign in Space, an interdisciplinary project by media artist Daniela de Paulis.

On 24 May, a signal was transmitted by the Trace Gas Orbiter (an ESA spacecraft orbiting Mars) and was received at the Green Bank Telescope (West Virginia), the Medicina Radio Astronomical Station (Italy), the Allen Telescope Array (California) and the Very Large Array (New Mexico). We’re asking individuals and groups to take part in decoding and interpreting the content of the message.

The decoding and interpretation process will determine both the technical and cultural content of the message.

Submit your scientific data, thoughts, sketches, drawings, and ideas for the technical decoding and cultural interpretation of the message. Contributions will be posted on the project’s website and social media associated with the project, sharing the process of decoding and interpreting the message with the world.

Throughout history, humanity has searched for meaning in powerful and transformative phenomena. Receiving a message from an extraterrestrial civilization would be a profoundly transformational experience for all humankind. A Sign in Space offers the unprecedented opportunity to tangibly rehearse and prepare for this scenario through global collaboration, fostering an open-ended search for meaning across all cultures and disciplines.

Deciphering an extraterrestrial signal and its message would begin an endless and varied process of technological and cultural interpretation that would highlight our limitations, as well as our fundamental need to transcend them.

Join us on the online (free) platform Discord, where the debate around decoding and interpreting the message is ongoing, with people from all over the world exchanging their thoughts while attempting to discover the signal's content.


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By participating and submitting your material for the open call, you agree for us to use your images, texts, data in all public platforms associated with the project and in future activities, including exhibitions and publications connected to the project.
By participating and submitting, you agree that all works submitted must be original and not infringe anybody’s copyright. Copyrighted works must be attributed.