MARS ONE PROJECT - CAN I TAKE THIS TO MARS?
In conjunction with the Christine Niehoff exhibition 'Kosmos-gesellschaft' at Kunstraum Potsdam, Germany
// November 2014
((*The Third Round has been announced and sadly I didn't make the cut. Here's a pretty funny article about it in The Daily Mail ))
In 2023, the MARS ONE PROJECT (www.mars-one.com) plans to send four astronauts on a one way trip to Mars. In 2013 they put the call out to anyone one in the world to apply. Those chosen will be trained over the next ten years to become astronauts, to become adventurers, to go beyond and further than any man has gone before. In the second round, they whittled the applicants down from 200,000 to around 700.
I am (was) one of those 700.
As a second round applicant, I collected and documented different things in my life and asked the question ‘Can I take this to Mars?’
The item that began me looking at this process was my Teddy Bear. He has been with me on every journey I have ever under taken and subsequently has become a vessel for my memories, worries, tears, dreams and nightmares. To anyone else, he has no value and would probably end up in landfill without me in his life. The love that I have for this inanimate object is bordering on ridiculous, but it can’t be helped. He has become an important part of my life.
Through this process, by looking at the things I own, I’ve been able to examine how we value the objects in our lives. We imbue them will so many other meanings, emotions, representations, memories and personality they sometimes only barely resemble their actual physical manifestation. These items sometime are only really important to me, they have no value to anyone else. Without me in their lives they cease to exist in their current form and revert back to the simple outer shell that they are.
The other items range from the bizarre (a colourful cap that I’ve developed a fondness for) to the emotional (a Polaroid film strip of my Mother). Some items are representational of other things (like the baby boots. By committing to this journey, am I giving up the option of having a child on earth?) Others are purely sentimental (like the old cassette tape given to me by a childhood friend, completely redundant even here on earth).
If I am chosen for this voyage, these items may once again take on a further meaning. They will become an archive of the great adventurer, Amy Alexander. Somewhat like Abraham Lincoln’s Hat, or Marilyn Monroe’s white dress, they will be treasured by the public in memory of my sacrifice. These inexpensive, throwaway items will live on in the annuls of history.
And that would be awesome.