In this talk I will narrate the experience of the Bioarquitecture CosmoEcology project by Chilean artist Luis Bernardo Guzmán as part of the Sojourner2020 of MIT’s space exploration initiative.
A micro-gravity payload that carried 9 art and science projects onboard the International Space Station between the months of March and April of the year 2020, during the time when the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting the entire world with greater force. The artist’s work consisted of bringing marine diatoms of the Phaeodactylum Tricornutum strain to a lunar micro-gravity environment to allow their adaptation to space conditions. The project was born from the idea that it is necessary to develop a symbiotic perspective in relation to space exploration since the conditions of life on Earth depend on these types of relationships and we must learn from them in order to reproduce them sustainably in other places in the solar system. At the same time, the project seeks to raise questions about future ecologies in which phenomena such as the imminent expansion of terrestrial life to other places outside the planet, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic force us to face a scenario that increases in complexity, making necessary the appearance of a CosmoEcology, that could be described as a field that allows us to think the relationship between natural and technical entities of various scales such as microbes, gravity and machines.
Specifically, the work consisted of generating “a new ecological niche” by generating a breathable atmosphere in the lunar gravity environment. This would be the product of the photosynthetic process of diatoms in which carbon dioxide is captured and oxygen is released, which would be verified by the ability of diatoms to survive microgravity conditions. In this sense, the ultimate goal of the project was to generate living conditions beyond the limits of the biosphere.