A Decade With Mars at Ferment

A Decade With Mars : Phase One


A Decade With Mars is a ten-year project about time, communities, sustainability and the future. We have been meeting a group of seven people who applied to become part of a real TV show, meant to air towards the end of 2014, which will send normal people to live on Mars. It’s a one-way trip and aims to establish the first human colony on another planet, in 2025.


With many companies looking into the possibilities of space travel, partly fueled by climate change and diminishing resources on Earth, is a future for the human race on a different planet possible?

Mars and Earth

Our project runs parallel to the time-scale of the proposed mission, and so commits us to meeting the same group of people again and again for ten years. Over this time we will document how their and our lives change. The people we’ve met range in ages from 19 to 54. Some are students at the beginning of careers in physics and engineering, one is a civil servant, a taxi driver, and a secondary school lab technician. What they have in common is an ambitious and optimistic outlook for the continuation and growth of the human race. Through meeting a group of people who wish to live on another planet, we are looking back on Earth, to look at the ways in which we live today and the possibilities for the future. How do we create and sustain communities?


For some time we have been interested in meeting people, in conversation, and letting the work we make come from this. Working over an extended period of time is a way of us thinking about our development as artists, to create a series of outcomes that are genuinely informed and led by our interactions with the applicants we’ve met. So far in our meetings, we’ve been trying to think about what each person would enjoy doing, to create social situations that we can take part in, to enable us to have wider conversations alongside more everyday activities. We’ve been for roast dinners, gone bowling, visited the Science Museum, taken a tour in a taxi, and toasted to the future with mulled wine at a Christmas Market.


For July’s Ferment we are setting up an open space in the Milk Bar, which is just off St Nicks Market. In a similar way to how we are meeting the mars applicants, we want to create an open, social space where we can discuss and work on this project in an everyday setting. We are interested in creating spaces within our work which act as a meeting point between art and everyday life, a ‘third space’ where all kinds of conversations can happen.


You can pop in and have a free cup of tea, talk to us about the future, about Earth and Mars and committing to ten years of building friendships. We might be showing short bits of film, looking at our ant farm (if we can find any ants), growing tomatoes, and looking at research into how different people choose to live.

Bring your sandwiches and join us for your lunch break or come in after you finish work and stop for a chat. We will be open from 12 – 6 from Tuesday 8th July – Saturday 12th July, and we’d love to have you come and join us.

See the full Bristol Ferment programme here.