Josh Simpson is a glass artist from Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. Over the last 40 years, he’s created more than 3,000 tiny, delicate glass “planets” – and he’s hidden them all around the world for people to find.Josh Simpson Glass Source: Josh Simpson Glass
Simpson’s “Infinity Planets” project was inspired by his fascination with both space and archaeology.Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube
The seeds of his project began in 1976 when he came across 5 very old but pristine glass marbles while digging in the garden.
It reminded him of similar objects dug up by archaeologists in Afghanistan years earlier. Despite all of their best guesses, the professionals had misidentified the objects at first. This gave him an idea.Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube
Simpson explains on his website:
Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube
“…the following thoughts came to me almost simultaneously: ‘So many priceless glass objects in museums were buried for eons until a random archaeologist discovered them! No museum has shown my work, and, eeep, what if none ever do!?… I make glass planets that will probably last for centuries… Why not bury my planets myself, and then maybe someday in the future another random archaeologist might find one. A mystery to stump the experts! Possibly my glass might find its way into a museum after all!'”
In an attempt to make his art eternal and present others with a joyous surprise, he began hiding his own little glass “planets” in his town and then in places where he traveled.Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube
He even began sending them abroad so friends could hide them in various far-flung locales.
Photo by Angela Harris via John Simpson Glass Source: Photo by Angela Harris via John Simpson Glass
“I love the thought of the people who eventually find these little worlds being intrigued about their meaning, purpose and origin. These people may or may not be archaeologists. They may know nothing about art or science, and they might not be able to purchase one of my pieces. But I like the idea of my art reaching a totally new audience of people who are not just socially or culturally different but also potentially living decades or hundreds of years from now.”
On Simpson’s website, you can find nearly 20 years worth of photos of him and others posing with the glass planets before tucking them away in forests, flinging them off of mountains, and even leaving one at the South Pole!Photo by Tony Stark via Josh Simpson Glass Source: Photo by Tony Stark via Josh Simpson Glass
The glass does not leach chemicals into water or soil and Simpson insists the project is environmentally friendly.
Simpson has gone so far as to drop the glass objects out of his own private plane during outings.Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Great Big Story/YouTube
The artist hopes that people find his objects and imagine what it’s like to inhabit and orbit around the planets and even consider their own place in the universe.
On his website, you can find a map of all the places someone has hidden a marble.Josh Simpson Glass Source: Josh Simpson Glass
Simpson even offers fans of the project a chance to hide their own planet after filling out an application.
One need only write to the artist and tell him what they intend to do with the object as well as explain why the place of deposit means something to them. He then selects one person each month to receive two planets – one to keep and one to place somewhere special.
Photos of the drops are posted online in his “scrapbook.”Josh Simpson Glass Source: Josh Simpson Glass
While they’re not going to perplex any modern-day archaeologists (though they will delightfully surprise those who come across them), one can only imagine what people in the future will think about finding these magnificent glass planets in every corner of the globe.
Be sure to scroll down below to see the artist at work and describing his Infinity Project.
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