Big Bag Theory

The personal rescue enclosure (PRE) or “rescue ball” was developed as a solution for transporting astronauts from one Space Shuttle to another in case of an emergency. The ball allowed a crew member to curl up inside and put on an oxygen mask. The oxygen supply should thus be secured for one hour, during which the rescue sphere would have been carried to the rescue shuttle by a space suited astronaut. NASA eventually abandoned the PRE, in part due to Public criticism of their processes after the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry in 2003. Mike Bouchet had been producing Simulated versions of the PRE since 2002. In 2007, the artist produced 500 of these SPRE (simulated personal rescue enclosures) also known as Polished Space Bags, these alternative rescue enclosures were produced in Poland, composed of white PVC, a black zipper and no window. For a performance Bouchet has re-created particular episodes of popular television programs, such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “MTV’s NEXT”, with actors in these bags.