The European Space Agency has been invaded by aliens. The anonymous street artist known as Invader is plastering his trademark mosaics on ESA facilities in Germany and Italy, Jamie Condliffe reports for Gizmodo.
Like a nerdier Banksy, Invader creates art inspired by classic arcade games like Street Fighter, Pac-Man and, of course, Space Invaders. While Banksy builds dystopian theme parks, though, this street artist has struck up a friendship with astronauts. In March, the ESA installed one of his trademark mosaics aboard the International Space Station. Now, his work is popping up in ESA facilities across Europe.
Invader's new earthbound art includes Pac-Man munching on the solar system, an alien communicating with Earth, E.T. pointing a finger at a dish antenna, the Star Wars droid R2-D2 and a "Welcome to Space" greeting at the ESRIN observation center near Rome. The "invasion" has also reached the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, as well as Belgium’s Redu Center, where the ESA tests and monitors satellites.
Though Invader hasn't commented on the new pieces, it's safe to say the artist is thrilled to work with the ESA. When his mosaic reached the ISS, he cheered the news:
I would have never imagined that my Space Invaders project might take me that high. What looked like an unrreachable dream has come true as Space2 is the first space invader ever installed on a spaceship among real astronauts living in zero gravity and with Earth and the universe as a background ! Art, Science, space conquest : a great move!
This won’t be the last invasion, either. According to the ESA, there will be more mosaics to come — possibly even on the ISS. In the meantime, take a closer look at some of Invader’s latest mosaics.