Occupy Mars, Illustrated Section

1 Occupy Mars is an investigation led by the artists and filmmakers Pauline Julier and Clément Postec on our relationship to Mars, and all that it suggests about our relationship to Earth – its soil, its water, its elements – as seen at the crossroads of past and future.

2 The investigation has been developed on the basis of research and creations, using a multifaceted approach that is open to diverse points of view – those of scientists, manufacturers, activists, and the Mars rovers, as well as the perspective of matter, of things themselves. It attempts to both assess the conquest of space and experiment with alternative narratives. In this new impulse toward the beyond, what is (again) at stake as far as we are concerned? How can we try to approach it differently, instead of treating it as yet another war to win?

3 From one soil to another, from Mars to Earth, the question is one of devising a single critical space. Projecting oneself onto Mars means trying to comprehend and observe the Earth, while climate change and the ongoing environmental disaster project us into an unknown world. Mars has always been the site of multiple projections. What do we see there today? Some see an Earthlike destiny for it; others see the image of the arid and uninhabitable world that awaits us.

4 Occupy Mars frees the red planet from the dominant narratives and replaces them with perspectives for new and necessary thinking. Like a narrative twist, or a “hack,” Occupy Mars intervenes so as not to abandon extraplanetary space and its exploration to science or the forces of capital.

5 An initial exploration took place in the Atacama Desert in Chile, where the training sites for NASA’s rovers sit next door to one of the largest lithium mines in the world. On the basis of this voyage, a three-channel video installation, follow The water, was produced, in which the protagonists speak of their attachment to this territory. The images presented here are taken from this work.