Down to Earth
"Down to Earth"—the exhibition of the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale—critically unpacks the project of space mining through the perspective of resources. Starting from the typology of lunar laboratories—facilities that operate as both spaces for scientific experimentation and testing of mining technologies as well as media studios in which the imagery of the technological performance (as a necessary financial instrument of speculative economies, such is that of space mining) is being produced—the exhibition unveils the backstages of the space mining project, offering another way of seeing the Moon, that which goes beyond the current optics and extractive practices of the Anthropocene.
Curated by two researchers of the Master in Architecture Programme, Francelle Cane and Marija Maric, the exhibition features three different projects developed throughout the course of the research—a film, a workshop, and a publication.
Titled Cosmic Market, the film by Armin Linke, developed in collaboration with the curators of the Pavilion, exposes connections between scientific research and differing interpretations of space legislation, as well as between technological development and the establishment of a new market, both on Earth and beyond.
A collaboration between the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) and the Luxembourg Pavilion, the workshop how to: mind the moon started from the research on five lunar materials, outlining another kind of material library, that which goes beyond the perceived scientific neutrality of materials science. The workshop, co-curated with Lev Bratishenko, features contributions by: Jane Mah Hutton, Anastasia Kubrak, Amelyn Ng, Bethany Rigby, and Fred Scharmen.
Published by Spector Books and designed by OK-RM, the publication Staging the Moon: Resource Extraction Beyond Earth collects essays and fragments of research on questions of resources, legal framing of lunar soil and commons, as well as the infrastructural power of the New Space Age media in legitimizing mineral extraction.
"Down to Earth"
Luxembourg Pavilion at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Curators: Francelle Cane and Marija Maric
Commissioners appointed by the Ministry of Culture of Luxembourg:
Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg
luca - Luxembourg Center for Architecture