BEYOND GRAVITY (Microgravity Ecosystem) | porcelain | 36 x 32 cm | 2023 | Reproduction in porcelain of Mashroom Flammulina velutipes grown under 0 gravity in a Spacelab during the D-2 mission (26April to 6 May, 1993), showing a random orientation of the fruiting bodies.
Russian astronaut Mikhail Kornienko, who returned to Earth after 340 days on the International Space Station, stated: 'People will miss the Earth. This is more than nostalgia.'
In an attempt to comprehend the feeling of nostalgia expressed in these words, "People will Miss The Earth" is conducting research into modern science's attempts to artificially reproduce Earth’s biosphere in light of an upcoming ecological catastrophe.
By looking at bio-regenerative technologies the project critically address the contemporary colonial rhetoric of the New Space Age while simultaneously exploring alternative narratives for deep space and (inter)planetary relations.
Advocates of multi-planetary ideologies believe humans can replicate earthly ecosystems in extraterrestrial environments to colonize new planets, fostering synergy between techno-scientific research and plans for space colonial settlement. By examining scientific and anthropological experiments on life survival in extreme habitats, I aim to highlight the limitations of the New Space rhetoric.
Through the observation of the psychological effects of isolation in 'The Antarctic Gardener' (short film based in Antarctica, focusing on a BLSS facility) and the impact of zero gravity on plant organisms in 'Beyond Gravity' (ongoing installation), I inquire about the capability of artificial environments to provide the conditions necessary for life to thrive.
Deep space becomes a realm for speculation about the essence of life and what makes it thrive. Rather than viewing it as a territory to conquer, it becomes a space to increase awareness of our rootedness on Earth. By comparing ourselves with the alterity of an extraterrestrial environment, we can observe life as a result of a situated, unique relational system rather than artificially reproducible mechanical relations.
The Antarctic Gardener | Short Film | 4 k | 24 minutes 2022-2023 | Microgravity Ecosystem | porcelain | 36 x 32 cm | Calm Before the Storm | Radius CCA, Delft | 2022-23 | photo by Gunnar Meier
The cybernetic theory postulates Planet Earth as a system and suggests the possibility of artificially replicating its dynamics. To reproduce the ecosphere, scientists have been working on creating Bioregenerative Life Support Systems (BLSS) — artificial ecosystems that scale down Earth's biosphere into self-contained environments independent from the atmosphere. The success of these environments represent a crucial technology for advancing the so-called exit plans promoted by the NewSpace colonial narrative.
By studying artificial ecosystems and life adaptation to extreme conditions, People will Miss The Earth critically inquires about the paradoxes embedded in the multi-planetary utopias.
With time, the project aims to evolve into an environmental installation of sculptures, videos, and other elements.
The Antarctic Gardener
The Antarctic Gardener | 24m | 2022-23 | trailer
An androgynous scientist lives confined to the ice of Antarctica, taking care of a closed artificial ecosystem for space colonization. Virtual relationships, artificial suns, and nutrients dissolved in the air form the core of a crystallized world pervaded by the emotional temperature of extreme isolation. In this astonishing yet hostile frozen desert, the Antarctic Gardener's only companions are plants, growing enclosed in an uninterrupted artificial cycle, indifferent to weather and seasons.
The Antarctic Gardener blends fiction with archive footage from the EDEN ISS project, a plant cultivation test facility at the Neumayer-Station III in Antarctica. In the film, reality and fiction blur. While it may evoke the futuristic and dystopian setting of a sci-fi movie, what is disclosed here is not fiction but a real-life situation that is already happening.
Inspired by research on Bio-regenerative Life Support Systems (BLSS) and the global pandemic of COVID-19, the film delves into questions such as: if human life became possible only in the interior of artificial environments, what would our existence be?
Withered Season Flowers
Withered Season Flowers (excerpt) | Video 4K | Video Installation | 2022| 5m | Camera Matteo Calore | Sound Linus Bonduelle | Audio Recordings Antonio Sequeira Lopes | Color Correction Marco De Stefanis | Realized with the support of CBK Rotterdam and documenta fifteen
Withered Season Flowers continues research on estreme environments and greenhouse infrastructures. The short film explores a feral ecology that has emerged from the abandoned greenhouses of Ventimiglia, Liguria, Italy. These greenhouses, once used for cultivating Rosa Chinensis, a flower imported in Europe from the East in the 1700s, now stand as unintentional experiments on the survival of plants in extreme conditions.
Withered Season Flowers | Video 4K | Video Installation | 2022| 5 m | KazimKuba | documenta fifteen | photo Nick Ash |
Archeology of Space Debris | Exploded Sputnik | Raku | 2021|