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WORK > 2021 > Planetary crop rotation

Is it possible to imagine a responsible space perma(nent) culture?

Planetary Crop Rotation uses “The Rotation Effect” and other principles from regenerative agriculture and rewilding work to create new narratives for human-space relationships, bringing care and maintenance to the forefront of space exploration.

As the privatized space industry takes notable steps towards the colonization of the moon and Mars, it seems like the opportunity for space-related collective decision-making has passed. If multiplanetary living is bound to happen, is it possible to do it right? In both the various techno-utopian visions and deeply cynical scenarios, could we imagine a bizarre story of Earthly maintenance where our planet (and subsequent human inhabited planets) are cared for through a practice of space permaculture? Could humanity move from planet to planet, letting each one rest and rejuvenate like fallow land?

“Planetary Crop Rotation”, is a video artwork that reimagines humanity as a responsible spacefaring civilization. To create the work, audio extracts from regenerative agriculture and rewilding Creative Commons videos, as well as interviews with Elon Musk about SpaceX, were transcribed, remixed, and then re-read using artificial intelligence “deepfake” voice elements from private space exploration company founder Elon Musk.

What are the trade-offs, barriers, and discomforts of adopting new farming systems? What does it take to balance care, maintenance and stewardship mindsets with engineering, science and design approaches at multiple scales?

If a farmer can take the leap, can those in space exploration do the same?