The Aspen Space Station debuts as counterpoint to billionaire space race

An anti-Bezos space escape, the Aspen Space Station is an artist-run earthbound space program featuring interactive installations, events, and community arts engagement promoting relationships with our planet, in lieu of space travel. Programming schedule highlights include “celebrating gravity by throwing knives and slacklines;” “black hole simulator sessions;” “forager space meal cooking;”  and “cosmic forest bathing,” among many more. 

Opened August 14 and running through September 19, conceptual artist and film director Ajax Axe, in collaboration with a group of local artists and non-profit organizations, has created The Aspen Space Station in the wilderness on the back of Aspen Mountain in Colorado. An interactive initiative rooted in community engagement, the Aspen Space Station is the first iteration of many Space Stations that will evolve in various international locations with diverse teams, and different issues, materials, and themes based on the locale.

The series of earthbound space programs are part of Axe’s larger “Earth Force Climate Command” project. The Mission for “Earth Force Climate Command” is:

1.Stay on Earth

2.Enjoy it

3.Stop thinking we can torch this planet and then escape to another one

“We’re essentially going to war with Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos about who gets to tell the story of the future,” Axe said during an artist talk. “This space fantasy is delusional at best and downright dangerous for the hopes of humankind in the next hundred years.”

The Aspen Space Station, which includes installations by Colorado artists Ajax Axe, Chris Erikson, Lara Whitley, and WALLY will include programming and workshops with titles such as “You Can’t Do This On Mars: Throwing Knives, Slacklines and Other Pleasures of Life With Gravity” and “Cool Shit You Could Do With A Billion Dollars Instead of Going To Space.”

Ballet dancer Jenelle Figgins, formerly of the Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet, will debut a “Space in Aspen” dance premiere as part of the project in September.

“The future is going to happen on Earth, in our own communities. Creating new stories, mythologies and fantasies that happen right here is how we can best plan and shape new ideas about the future,” Axe explained.

Though the project was conceived before this summer’s billionaire space race heated up, the artists plan to invite part-time Aspen resident Jeff Bezos to “come back to earth” and spend a night in the Aspen Space Station. Elon Musk and Richard Branson are invited to join as well.

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