AV installation by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg

Challenging the techno-utopian dream of space colonisation and its inevitably exploitative tendencies, The Wilding of Mars imagines a Mars colonised only by plants. Unfolding over millennia but exhibited at a timescale adapted to human hours, the installation simulates the growth of a planetary wilderness, seeded with extremophilic Earth life forms. Multiple simulations run in parallel; endless possible worlds emerge, challenging the assumption that the outcome of space colonisation must be human benefit. Like other “frontiers”, Mars is typically seen as open for exploitation, whether or not indigenous life exists there. The Wilding of Mars prioritises a non-human perspective with plants visibly growing and colonising the terrain, while voyeuristic camera angles heighten human intrusion, as we loom over a landscape of surveillance screens.

Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is an artist exploring the human values that shape design, science, technology, and nature. Through artworks, writing, and curatorial projects, Daisy examines the human impulse to “better” the world. Daisy has spent over ten years researching synthetic biology and the design of living matter, pushing the boundaries of design and science with scientists, engineers, artists, designers, historians, social scientists, and museums around the world. Daisy is lead author of Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature (MIT Press, 2014), and exhibits internationally, including at MoMA New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, the National Museum of China, the Centre Pompidou.