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Is there life on Mars?

“Rising Green”. Painting in acrylic on canvas by German sci-fi artist Frank Lewecke

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) recently granted the Divisions Sabine Höhler’s application Life on Mars: The Science and Fiction of Terraforming and the Future of Planet Earth. The project will start in the beginnig of 2018 and run for three years.

A procjet page is coming up, but in the meantime please read the applicatoin abstract for more information on this project:

The Anthropocene, the geological age of humanity, is associated with a key feature: the power of technoscientific intervention into the Earth’s environment. This transformative potential became apparent in the second half of the twentieth century when the science and the fiction of “terraforming”, of turning extreme or extraterrestrial into Earth-like environments, gained traction. Hopes of venturing into Space became as pervasive as perceptions of humans overexploiting and polluting the Earth. The popular vision of settling sustainable communities on Mars saw an upswing in the recent decade of anthropogenic global environmental

This project explores the science and fiction of Mars settlement with the help of terraforming as a creation of new environments in Space as well as blueprints for the technological reconstruction of the Earth’s environment. The aim is to describe the Anthropocene not simply as an epoch that endangers the Earth but primarily as an epoch that essentially transformed the understanding of life to a minimalist principle of survival through infinite metabolic conversion and technological substitution. This understanding conjoined images of recreation and creation, of paradisiacal pasts and eco-technological futures. The question whether ‘postplanetary’ life, life that is not tied to a specific planet but transcends planetary boundaries, will be possible and desirable may become one of the most challenging questions of our future.