New East Digital Archive

Meet the Russian artist making a space blanket sculpture bigger than your house

1 August 2018

Russian artist Alex Shtanuk has launched a crowdfunding campaign to create a giant art installation with 3,350 NASA space blankets.

Simply named The Blanket, it will use more than 40 km of reinforced tape to create a shimmering mirage larger than a football pitch, with the undulating canvas stretching out over 10,000 square metres.

The Moscow-based artist wants to take his installation to this year’s Burning Man festival, where music-lovers will be able to shelter from the Californian sun under The Blanket’s heat-deflecting canopy. The blanket material, which was originally designed by NASA in the 1960s to keep astronauts warm, reflects approximately 97 percent of heat from one side, which has a special coating.

At night, hundreds of people in glowing el-wire suits will gather under The Blanket as part of a separate performance.

Shtanuk has already unveiled a smaller version of The Blanket, taking a scaled-down version of the installation to Russian land art festival Archstoyanie.

“Throughout our life we share the space under the blanket with lovers, friends and family,” he says. “There are no strangers.”