Working with the Space Exploration Initiative, this project is a performance that seeks to project alternative imaginaries about space exploration through the lenses of panspermia, symbiosis, and kinship. Based on a rethinking of the “first contact”, the script shifts perspectives to a microbial scale that is imperceptible to humans. Donna Haraway describes Lynn Margulis’ Endosymbiotic theory as “critters eating critters and getting indigestion.” We’d like to act out this idea in microgravity.

A performer wearing a bioplastic helmet, slime mold-inoculated spacesuit becomes one with a SCOBY inflatable as an ode to multi-species living in space. The inflatable is made with bacterial cellulose produced via fermentation. For us, fermentation is a practice of co-living, it embodies building with communities of humans and more-than-humans. In response to the free market frontierism that has led to ongoing privatization, extraction, and domination on Earth, we find it urgent to import the language of kinship into narratives of the interplanetary ecologies we might one day become part of.