Starship Hippodrome

Starship Hippodrome, 2014

Yapı-Sanat Kooperatifi

Sinopale 5, “Clusters and Crystals: Observing at Point Zero”
Curator: T. Melih Görgün

“I was a “Crewmember” at Starship Hippodrome throughout 1975. I can’t go into detail, but I can verify that TUSLOG DET 4 (Sinop, Turkey) did not have any U-2 flights on my watch… TUSLOG Det 4 (Sinop) was a small listening base on the Black Sea Coast. The base was locally known an NATO “Logistics” base, but was mainly populated with Army Security Agency personnel.

The Hippodrome facility may have gotten its patch from the “Hi-Tech” look of the antenna arrays, Geodesic Domes, and parabolic dishes visible just outside the operations facility. … Strangely enough, periodically the Soviets almost always had a trawler just offshore and it was not uncommon to have a flyover of Soviet aircraft to see if we were up to any mischief.”

During the Cold War, TUSLOG Det 4, known as the “Radar Base” in Sinop was one of the U.S. Army detachments in Turkey, set up to follow the activities of the Soviet Union. Because of the classified nature of army operations, the futuristic insignia of the “Starship Hippodrome” program provides a limited sight into the unacknowledged/unknown actions of the U.S. Army and becomes a barrier that one cannot cross. It represents the mystery of the mission by choosing itself a very particular iconography, the spaceship *Enterprise* of *Star Trek.

By redistributing the insignia, this work invites the viewer to be a symbolic part of the unknown of the past “on the hill” by getting a *piece of the cake.