Interplanetary Time, Communication, and Longevity
For the Ars Electronica "Interplanetary Time, Communication, and Longevity" workshop, we wanted to provide a space for participants to think about the implications and opportunities of long distances and time-frames that make up a vision of humanity expanding into the wider universe. We found ourselves asking questions like "How will great expanses of time and space impact how we live, communicate, and celebrate?" and “What does it mean to be a trans-temporal species?” The Space Exploration Initiative believes in the democratization of space as one of its core principles, so we created a space where anyone could contribute to these conversations about the long-term possibilities of the future of human culture. Using a shared virtual whiteboard to present, collect, brainstorm, and remix ideas, we began gathering habits, traditions, and cultural events categorized by different time scales. Realtime, Days, Months, Years, Decades, Centuries/Generations, Epochs.
What followed was a rich discussion about how the constraints of living in space would alter and redefine our rituals. Watching sunsets, menstruation, careers, funerals, and the geologic formation of new mountains were a few of the “rituals” that were collected as we considered how they might be different in space. Participants wove together each others' contributions and considered how they imagined them evolving in the context of long distance space travel, communicating over long distances with significant latency, and contending with the complications and opportunities of the microgravity environment.
The results of the workshop have been archived so that it can exist as an ongoing set of inspirations for everyone thinking about the future of life in space.