27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Extra-Terrestrial Ecologies (Retroflectors: the astronaut, the robot, the alien)
What new things can we learn about ecology from science fiction? According to this video essay by artist Ralo Mayer, quite a lot. A flow of thoughts and analogies inspired not only by such sci-fi films as The Martian, E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Silent Running, but also by Biosphere 2, a project simulating an enclosed ecosystem located far away in outer space, have led the artist to reevaluate the way in which ecology is currently considered. For his new view of things, which relies more on a cosmic rather than an earthly perspective, the key concepts consist of humans as space travellers, robotic technologies, and extraterrestrials as apparitions whom we suspect exist in distant star systems.
"Ecology in outer space, far from our home planet, is literally unheimlich–uncanny, or better: unsettling. After years of research about Biosphere 2, I met E. T. & we talked Haraway in a Redwood forest." R. Mayer
Multimedia artist Ralo Mayer (1976) expresses his interest in science fiction and ecology in a number of his projects that lie on the boundary of video, installation, text, and performance. He has long been working on the project The Ninth Biospherian, which reflects the artificial Biosphere 2 ecosystem. His exhibition, including the video Space Post Colonialism (2013–2015), is based on cosmic designs from the 1970s.
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|photography:||Ralo Mayer, Ben Pointeker|