In the last weekend of April, the Mobilise/Demobilise artists will gather online and at physical locations in Malmö and Graz to explore the theme “Taking Space” in online and hybrid performance experiments.
The idea of “taking space” was initially inspired by current ventures into space, from commercial space travel to mining exploration on the moon and other planets. The mobilisation of humans into outer space is the next frontier for colonisation, exploration and destruction and it is beginning already, with little regulation or regard for the lessons of history. In 1966, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution titled “Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies” which aimed among other things to ensure that the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and for the benefit of all peoples irrespective of the degree of their economic or scientific development. Yet it’s already clear that geopolitical and commercial profit interests are going to dominate the race to colonise and exploit outer space.
Here are some of our research links so far:
- Mining the Moon ready to lift of by 2025, published on Mining.com in March 2019
- Mining in space is coming, published April 2021 – NASA has awarded mining contracts to four companies, to begin in 2024
- The hype is out of this world, but mining in space won’t save the Earth, January 2023 – questioning the risks, costs and waste of space mining against the possible benefits
- Asteroid mining company announces subsiduary, February 2023 – typically, there are commercial interests that will go ahead with this despite the risks and negative impacts
- Moon dust could help mitigate global warming, but …– arguments for and against geoengineering hypotheses
- Legally binding global treaty needed to tackle space debris, published in The Guardian, March 2023
As well as outer space, we discussed the concept of taking space as a political act – for example the “take back the night” (or “reclaim the night”) protests of the 1990s, against rape and sexual assault, or indigenous land rights movements aiming to take back stolen land. We referred back to the Mobilise/Demobilise performances in 2021 that addressed reclaimed land and the sea taking back land that what was previously under water. We also discussed the difference between “making space” and “taking space” – the provocation of taking something as opposed to the creative connotation of making.
During the worklab weekend we will explore these and other ideas in UpStage and in our local spaces, to develop skills and perhaps also performance materials and ideas for performances later in the year.