edited by Rob La Frenais, Ewen Chardronnet – Space Without Rockets


UV Éditions , ISBN 978-2956275381, English, 152 pages, 2022, France

Having become a conceptually even more remote place in recent decades, the perception of space has been reshaped by a handful of American private companies (Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Blue Origin, etc. with potentially disastrous environmental impacts) and some non-Western states that are achieving demonstrable results with their new, expensive space programmes (e.g. China and India). As a result of this, our collective understanding and imaginary of outer space is rapidly changing, also thanks in part to a counter-perspective that arises from the need to re-appropriate this imaginary on an accessible level. This unique collection of texts on safe and sustainable space exploration documents this level, involving scientists, entrepreneurs, specialised journalists, artists and curators. It is the result of a conference of the same name and, with short essays and interviews, covers a wide range of perspectives and techniques, from paleo-aero to artist-astronauts. This anthology surprisingly connects the recent and distant past with contemporary practices, highlighting historical, political and artistic practices related to space. Part of a larger programme called More-Than-Planet, this delightful book offers an inspiring selection of facts, performative actions, introductions to different systems and, above all, a collective vision.