Space exploration has been one of mankind’s biggest missions, and discovering Earth-like worlds has captured the imagination of many in the last two decades. If scientists and engineers have been responding to this with provisions for space travel, artists like Copenhagen-based photographer Ken Hermann have been turning to their creativity to imagine what it would be like if cosmic travelers find a world like Earth in the not-so-distant future.
Through a photo series simply entitled Crash Landed, Ken tells the story of an intrepid space explorer who finds himself roaming a world much like ours. Donning complete space gear, we see his character in different stages of exploration: from the titular crash landing on a gloomy cobblestoned street, to finding himself in an empty house, and curiously ending up in a library. It’s the last detail that I find to be the highlight of this series, suggesting what a man of science will most likely immerse himself into when faced with the mysterious knowledge of an extra terrestrial civilization.
On an interesting note, I see Crash Landed as an alternate version of Maximilian Motel’s The Traveller, or even a chapter in the same space-inspired narrative. In this shared story that I imagine, the two space travelers set off on separate missions — one of them probably a follow-up mission — and both Motel and Hermann have taken on the role of telling their stories through compelling photographs.
What I find most affecting in this set is the impression of Hermann’s spaceman doing a more in-depth exploration of his alien metropolis. I believe it creates a series of questions that beg to be answered, hopefully by another gloriously intrepid space-themed set. What do these alternate Earthlings look like? How similar or far along are they in terms of technology, architecture, and engineering? What kind of culture can Earth-like civilizations come up with?
In the meantime, my search for the next chapter to this fascinating tale also continues. Maybe in the next chapter, we’ll get to see the two lone space cowboys finally running into each other in the same alternate Earth.
Visit Ken Hermann’s Behance page for more of Crash Landed and his other excellent works.