Last week we were in Lancaster giving our first few public talks about A Decade With Mars; we will be doing more across the country this year. We wanted to go to groups of people who already meet regularly for discussion, and as the project is all about groups and communities, and how they are formed. We spoke about our work as a way of introducing a new discussion topic to them. Whenever we start speaking about this project with anyone it feels that people always have a lot to say about it, we are interested in using this year to speak to people and see what really different groups of people think about the ideas within the work.

Our talks in Lancaster were supported by Lancaster Arts City, and were part of their new feminist festival Hear Me Roar. We really enjoyed the other work we got to see as part of the festival, particularly a morning of talks from the university’s center for women and gender studies.

Here is a picture of us with at Barton Road Community Centre, with their coffee morning group. They were interested to spend their morning talking about the future.


Here we are with Lancaster Senior Learners Group.


We also met with the Lancaster and Morecambe Astronomical Society. These talks were also about a weather balloon launch that we are doing in Lancaster in May, in conjunction with Live at LICA.

These talks and weather balloon launches form a tour that we are doing across the county this year, as a series of activities around the public launch of A Decade With Mars. We will be visiting 6 cities and spending a week in each, giving talks to community groups and workshops with children in years 3 and 4.

We’re just about to launch our specially designed children’s website, which will be a way of the schools we visit keeping up with the project. It will be at

At the end of each week we will launch a weather balloon in each city,  to mark the beginining of ten years of looking at space, time and community. We will have a camera attached to the balloon in an attempt to film near space. It feels appropriate to start a project that is about looking at space by trying to get as close to space as we can. It is also allows us to think about how science and art can work together to create new conversations about the way in which we live. The launches are free public events, anyone can come and watch and even get involved with helping us do the launch.

Here is a list of dates that we will be in each city.

Hull  16th – 21st March

Working with Biggin Hill Primary School and St James C of E Primary School, with talks happening at the Rotary Club of Hull and for local artists at Hull Truck. Launching from East Park (weather dependent) on Saturday 21st March 1pm.

Bristol 1st – 18th April

We will be visiting Air Balloon Primary School and well as giving talks with Bristol Astronomical Society and Bristol Open Moot Circle. The launch will be on Saturday 18th April from Yate Common. Time to be confirmed closer to the date, as well as more groups and participating schools.

London 20th – 26th April

Working in conjunction with Shoreditch Town Hall, we will give school workshops and talks mostly within Hackney. An early morning launch will be happening in Saturday 25th March at 5AM in Haggerston Park! We will give more details closer to the time.

Leeds 28th April – 2th May

Working in conjunction with East Street Arts, we will give talks to local groups, some organised as part of their engagement/outreach program, so far these will be with their groups for adults with learning difficulties. The launch will take place on Saturday 2nd May in Potternewton Park.