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The 2018 theme does evoke strong associations with the Cosmos. The moon, space, the Milky Way and the universe with all its stars and planets have been appealing to our imagination since the beginning of time. The number of galaxies runs into billions and each galaxy itself also consists of billions of stars. In the great cosmic, the Earth and its inhabitants are no more than a grain of sand in the desert. It would be very coincidental if we were the only intelligent life form in the universe. According to The Equation of Drake – a mathematical formula from 1961 by the radionoom Frank Frake – the universe should be full of life. And so we send out signals in the hope that they are received intergalactically and we search extensively for extraterrestrial life with interplanetary probes and advanced radio telescopes. In 1977 the radio telescope ‘Big Ear’ – part of the research project SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) – received a hopeful narrowband radio signal. Later this was called the ‘Wow!-signal’. The signal carried signs of potential non-terrestrial and non-solar system-like origin and lasted 72 seconds. It was never detected again, so it did not count as conclusive evidence.

Some believe that aliens are already among us for a long time. UFO sightings and reports of flying saucers are of all times. Just like the human urge to discover and conquer the universe. Perhaps as a solution for when the Earth has become too crowded or unlivable?! Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk wants to send a rocket to Mars in 2022, in five years, to colonize the planet. Starfleet Enterprise might be much closer than we think.

Under the Cosmos theme, photographer Robert Pufleb exhibits his miraculous find of ‘alternative moons’. He documented them in the book he made together with designer Nadine Schlieper. It contains 42 unique photographic images of moons and cosmic landscapes; brand new cosmic discoveries that you have never seen before. Just like with his ‘Transformers’ project – which can also be seen at BredaPhoto Festival – the attentive viewer will notice that these moons are not what they seem.