Xin Liu & Lucia Monge
Unearthing Futures is a collaborative project that calls on potatoes to carry diverse and non-colonial visions of the future and space travel. The project is rooted in the rise of biological and social monocultures in agriculture and the urgency for space exploration, which is linked to environmental degradation on earth and envisioned as a continuation of Western colonialism.
The project began in March 2020 by sending 90 true potato seeds into low earth orbit for a month. When the potatoes return from the International Space Station, Liu and Monge will germinate them alongside control groups in search for any morphological changes. The artists want to engage with other immigrants to exchange visions of space travel and a multiplicity of future visions, experiment with multi-gravitational farming, and remember their grandmothers’ recipes and stories. Liu and Monge are already designing a rotating sculpture where they can grow potatoes with artificial gravity, to be built in the coming months.
Native to Peru, potatoes have over 4,000 varieties and are the fifth most grown crop worldwide. They are also among the first choices to be grown by the Chinese Space Agency’s Moon landing. Xin Liu and Lucia Monge’s project take their Chinese and Peruvian backgrounds as starting points and engage other immigrants to exchange visions of space travel, to experiment with multi-gravitational farming, and to explore different spatial-temporal relationships across cultures.