Worlding: Alice Bucknell – Aquaform, Terraform, Aeroform: Worlding the Interplanetary
On 10 March 2022, Ignota hosted Alice Bucknell in the Worlding series.
For millennia, Mars has saturated public imagination with alternative worlds, fantastical ecosystems home to high-tech canal cities, cephalopod dwellers, and communist utopias. But as our image of the Red Planet pivots increasingly towards that of a site for human habitation and resource extraction – with billionaire tech despots at the helm – how can worlding help us envision the many possible futures for Mars, as a host for both human and nonhuman life? What are the legal, political, ecological, and existential frameworks in which these worlds could take shape?
Drawing on speculative fiction strategies, as well as materials science, linguistics, space law, and prophetic applications of AI, artist Alice Bucknell explored a trifecta of possible Martian worlds, from a bio-infrastructure business vending clean water and air back to Earth, to a mystic cult of plant worshippers auguring ancient polyglot ecologies on the Red Planet. Bucknell took us behind the scenes of interplanetary worlding processes, including collaborations with space lawyers, arctic researchers, Scottish drone pilots, NLP specialists, and the Language AI GPT-3.
Alice Bucknell is an artist and writer based in London. Working primarily through game engines, she explores interconnections of architecture, ecology, magic, and nonhuman and machine intelligence. She is the organiser of New Mystics, a platform exploring magic, mysticism, ritual, and technology.
All proceeds were donated to Africans in Ukraine, an organisation helping African students and other Black individuals in Ukraine secure safe passage out of the country.