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Space Post Colonialism at X AND BEYOND

Shared etymological futures of revolution and disaster
(Silizium, Sequoias, Schwindel: SPACE POST COLONIALISM)
10.12.2015 – 24.1.2016


Griffenfeldsgade 27
2200 København N


In 1978 the economist Paul Krugman wrote his paper „The Theory of Interstellar Trade“. A couple of weeks ago, president Barack Obama signed a law that gives U.S. space firms the right to own and sell natural resources mined from asteroids and other space bodies. Perhaps „the single greatest recognition of property rights in history”, as Eric Anderson of Planetary Resources, Inc., said.

Within this cosmic blink of an eye (with a dollar sign in it), I’m very happy to invite you to my upcoming show at X AND BEYOND, an exhibition space that is affiliated with the Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research.
In 1543, the astronomer Nikolaus Kopernikus published „De revolutionibus orbium coelestium“, which helped to popularize the word revolution. Around the same time, the word disaster popped up from Middle French and Italian borrowing from both Latin and Greek (bad stars). Expanding this shared etymological past into speculative futures, I will present a newly extended version of my ongoing research on Space Post Colonialism. I’m especially interested in the two terms’ crossing paths in the 1970s, when space settlements spinning at 1 revolution per minute were designed as a solution to various doomsday scenarios, from the nuclear apocalypse to the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth. The latter’s predictions were based on one of the first computer models of our world, and when you look at its flowcharts of feedback cycles, another good old Latin phrase might come to your mind, Bildungsbürger hin oder Guy Debord her, from whatever direction you prefer:
in girum imus nocte ecce et consumimur igni

Spinning, turning, circling, vertigo a-go-go, my project investigates the dizzying histories of space settlement enthusiasts, counter culture and today’s Silicon Valley and Green Capitalism. Originating in a research trip to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013, the exhibition includes, among other things, a Sequoia tree (at least a good part of it), silicon ingots, Lophophora williamsii (the most sublime specimen I ever saw, around 90 years old), a nice chunk of an iron-nickel meteorite, solar cell breakage (recycled and working), the distance between the Earth and the Moon and the stuff that happened in the space between. Also a finally finished video essay, hurray, hurray!

I’ve written a more detailed description on an earlier version of the work last year, from which I would just like to repeat these three important points:

  • the German title of Hitchcock’s Vertigo is one of the biggest fails in the history of translation („Aus dem Reich der Toten“?! “SCHWINDEL”, dammit!)
  • I’m still pondering about Space Post-Colonialism and the starry dynamo in the machinery of night
  • and if you have never read Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, do it right now

And lots of thanks to: Jacob Lillemose, Rick Guidice, Al Globus, Scott Arford, Gwen Wrobel, Oliver Gemballa, Ben Pointeker, Philipp Haupt, Christina Linortner, Heinz Diklic, Franz Mayer, Jon McKenzie, psi19, Kathelin Gray & surely a lot more.
Supported by Bikubenfonden and Bundeskanzleramt Österreich.

















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