top of page
Unearthing the Futures

Xin Liu

Unearthing the Futures

2020

Potato seeds

1 x 1.2 cm

status:

Returned

Unearthing Futures is a collaborative project to decolonize narratives of planetary futures through growing, shaping, and sharing potatoes.

MIT Space Exploration Initiative

Unearthing Futures is a collaborative project to decolonize narratives of planetary futures through growing, shaping, and sharing potatoes.


Mission Potato: How do we cultivate the future? Is the future a high-performing, "engineered-to-perfection" single solution? Or is it a diversity of options/avenues that can help us adapt and resist to the changing climate? We are looking to potatoes for answers.


Native to Peru, potatoes are now the fifth most grown crop worldwide and among the first chosen to be grown by the Chinese Space Agency for its Moon landing. In both agriculture and politics today, there is a movement towards monoculture. In our mission, we call on potatoes (in their more than 4,000 varieties), to carry alternative narratives of what the future might look like. We choose multiplicity instead of the singular, a vision for anti-colonial planetary futures.

In March 2020, we selected 150 true potato seeds with the help of the International Potato Center, and then sent them into Earth's lower orbit. They traveled on board the International Space Station for a month before returning to Earth. We germinated, grew, and harvested them in our backyards in New York City and Portland alongside potatoes seeds that stayed on earth. The purpose of Earth siblings is to compare their growth and look for morphological changes caused by their time in space. The six varieties of Peruvian potatoes that travelled to space are the protagonists of our project. Sojourner 2020 (a 1.5U size unit, 100mm x 100mm x 152.4mm ) will be launched into low Earth orbit for about 30 days. It features a three-layer telescoping structure which creates three different “gravities”: zero gravity, lunar gravity, and Martian gravity. Each layer of the structure rotates independently. The top layer remains still in weightlessness, while the middle and bottom layers spin at different speeds to produce centripetal accelerations that mimic lunar gravity and Martian gravity, respectively. Each layer carries 6 pockets that can hold projects.


Source: https://unearthingfutures.com/


Technical information

artist

Xin Liu

title

Unearthing the Futures

date

2020

this work is part of the following collection

Sojourner 2020

medium

Potato seeds

dimensions

1 x 1.2 cm

genre

Sculpture

IAAA art style

Launch

launch date

7 Mar 2020

launch  vehicle

SpaceX CRS-20 (Dragon), Flacon 9

Orbit

host 

International Space Station

location

LEO, International Space Station (ISS)

launch location

SLC40 - Cape Canaveral, Florida

Return

return date

6 April 2020

return vehicle

SpaceX Dragon

status

Returned

launch vehicle COSPAR id

2020-016A

partners

MIT Space Exploration Initiative

Artist

Xin Liu

Artist, engineer

China

Collection

Sojourner 2020

2020

Are you the copyright holder of this artwork and do not wish to be included in this archive, then let us know by mail and we will remove your record.
 

Copyright Disclaimer: Exception to copyright for libraries, museums and archives. Copies for the preservation of cultural and scientific heritage: libraries, archives or museums can restore works or make digital copies of works in order to preserve and conserve them for future generations. More info here. This database and its content are protected. More info here. No copyright infringement intended.

bottom of page