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Hello, and welcome to the universe. When things seem like life and death down here on Earth, out further there’s a lot going on that makes us pretty forgettable. 

Plans to live on Mars are not new, it’s something people have been thinking about for a while. As us tiny humans start venturing out to space, how should we go about it?

  • Rock Stars

    Sarah Jane Pell & David Barnes (2018)

    “Rock Stars” shows a crew dressed in red flight suits and protective astronaut bubble-shaped helmets walking across an ancient riverbed of the Utah desert. They are picking up boulders and sand stones, shifting them across the landscape to create land-art patterns. The scale makes them look at once like giant soldier ants, and then tiny figures in a dinosaur’s backyard. The spacewalk simulations are mirrored and, like the trickery of desert mirages, the crew’s shadows and forms move across the landscape in kaleidoscopic geometries. Will future Mars crews create patterns in the landscape, and monoliths, like our ancestors? Will the spark of inspiration for cultural and site specific installations drive such labour and shape our new worlds? 

    This project is part of the Performing Astronautics project assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

    Starring – Sarah Jane Pell, Zac Trolley and Julia De Marines.

  • Bubbles on Mars

    Sarah Jane Pell & David Barnes (2018)

    “Bubbles on Mars” is the playful juxtaposition of the serious labour and utility of conventional extra-vehicular activity (EVA), or is it? In 1971, Edgar Mitchell radioed mission control from the Moon as Alan Shepherd played Lunar Golf ‘his ball going for “miles and miles”’. This inspired Mikhail Tyurin to continue the game, and he hit a golf ball from the ISS during his spacewalk in 2006. So, is it game on for Mars? For now, Analogue Astronauts of Mars Desert Research Station Crew 188 try to understand the wind dancing through the ancient rock formations by holding up bubbler wands. Importantly, will their play and performance lead to Mars innovation, invention and discovery, or support crew wellbeing in inspirational, collective and creative ways?

    Starring –  Sarah Jane Pell, Ryan Kobrick, Zac Trolley and Tatiyama Tasunari.

  • Warriors

    Sarah Jane Pell & David Barnes (2018)

    Warriors celebrates our ancestral, primal and tribal nature. It shows a choreographed dual between a scientific and cultural warrior. The crew enact the exchange of ideologies, the resistance to translation, and defence against each other through interactive movement. Explorers expand into new worlds as warriors, traders, adventurers, and aliens of this new place. They are faced with the challenge of defending the old world, transferring skills and knowledge, and adapting to the new. Each time we explore a seemingly inhospitable and uninhabited place, we are faced with questions of environmental ethics, kinship, and cooperation or war in anticipation of survival challenges.

    Starring – Sarah Jane Pell and Julia De Marines.

  • Mars Olympiad

    Sarah Jane Pell & David Barnes (2018)

    Mars Olympiad is one outcome of the ‘Bending Horizons 360’ experiments devised by Sarah Jane Pell and David G Barnes for the Mars Desert Research Station Crew 188 Analogue Mission 2018. 

    Explore the life of a Martian with a visit to the Mars Desert Research Station. Observe ritual co-operation, community, competition of art and scene-making in this extraordinary new world. Cinematic performance art on Mars analogue spacewalks.

    This project is part of the Performing Astronautics project assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. This work was co-produced by Monash University with support from the Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform during an artist residency 2018-2019. On location Mars Desert Research Station, MDRS Crew 188, Southern Utah US.

    Staring – Sarah Jane Pell, Renee Garifi, Zac Trolley and Tatiyama Tasunari.

Audio description to come