Artist News

Taking Space

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.

Full moon rising

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.

Click here for documentation of the worklab.

Here are some of our research links so far:

There are also some art projects in space, such as The Mars Patent, a very early virtual exhibition space on Mars, and an exhibition on the Moon included in he Artificial Museum.

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.