Ballrooms of Mars



A group of many DAVEs and many SARAs are glide across the surface of Mars. Dancing on the inside while dancing on the outside. Fleshy Sci-Fi Baroque creatures flittering lightly. Muscle like appendages straining under the pace. A standard styled waltz at a 3 month tempo, or perhaps a spicy Latin number with two month steps. Stealing one out of Neil Armstrong’s playbook, DAVE and SARA leave their footprints behind on Martian soil, a series of holes left to claim Mars for mankind. Fantastical creatures existing in the realm of magical realism.

As we move into space; with the intention to prolong all that is human; with the hope to insure our species survival; we must find a way to imprint our humaness. Is not that what we do as a species? We are imprinters.

Mars, the red planet. Is this the future home of humanity? What will it cost? It is not a question of monetary costs, but rather a question of, “is the cost of our humanity worth it?”

As we reach into the stars, the constant questioning of our humanity must remain of the upmost importance.

Ballrooms of Mars takes place in the world of design fictions. It is an architecture of the past’s laws, the present’s dreams, and the future’s possible realities. It does not claim to be a solution to a problem,and it understands its place as an alibi intending only to explore the consequences of emerging technologies, perverse realities, and unbuilt urbanisms.

Once upon a time…

We came together as a nation. Our hopes, our dreams, our collective nationalisms were focused on the stars. We stood together, one country, on the back of Apollo 11 and on July 20th, 1969 - Neil Armstrong sunk his boot into the lunar soil. This is unarguably one of mankind’s greatest achievements. An achievement that will always be remembered by the boot prints left in the soil and the American flag now waving blank due to cosmic radiation.

There is something at the root of what it means to be human in leaving behind an imprint. Is it man flexing his power over nature? Or is it something more sinister? Something at the heart of us. Terror management theory proposes a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live but realizing that death is inevitable. This conflict produces terror, and is believed to be unique to human beings. Moreover, the solution to the conflict is also generally unique to humans: culture. According to Terror management theory, cultures are symbolic systems that act to provide life with meaning and value. Cultural values therefore serve to manage the terror of death by providing life with meaning. Could this be why we leave tracks wherever we go? Solidify our existence and leave a trace for future generations.

2035 is the next time Mars moves in to close enough orbit to make a 6 month trip possible. Elon Musk’s Space -X, Boeing, NASA, and Mars One; are all planning their visit within this time window. It is in this journey that we need to dig deep into what is human. Habitation by humanification on an alien planet.

Welcome to the Ballroom of Mars.

Intent on leaving our mark behind on the surface of Mars we first need to terraform the Martian atmosphere. One of the most plausible means of terraforming mars is through a forced global warming that melts mars’ polar ice caps. And thankfully, the technique of creating greenhouse gases is something we have recently mastered.

Meet DAVE and SARA. Both clad in Mars grown victimless leather. DAVE Drills. SARA processes. It is a match made in heaven. DAVE, or the De-Aerification and Ventalation Excavator, digs mo-holes down over a mile into the Martian crust. These holes act as vents for heat trapped within the planet as well as excavate regolith for Sara to process. SARA, or the Soil atomizer and Regolith accumulator, is responsible for processing the loose regolith and through an alloy sintering process, creates a perflourocarbide. A greenhouse gas 1000 times more effective at global warming than carbon dioxide. DAVE doesn’t mind SARA being gassy.

Each DAVE and SARA is home to a team of engineers and scientists as well as their families. In addition to imprinting a trace of holes across the Martian surface to announce its claiming for mankind, DAVE and SARA process and amplify the carbon footprint of the city held within them. DAVE and SARA are proud to be Anti-LEED buildings.

Housed within each of the dancing cities, are ballroom dance facilities. Located in the floating ball – room directly in the center of each building. Ballroom dance is popular across the country in engineering and science rich communities. For those who have trouble socializing, ballroom dance is the perfect activity. It provides a codified means of human interaction. Comfort through codification. What is more human than ballroom dance.

The eternal marking of an alien world. De-Alienification through habitation. Dancing Across the Ballrooms of Mars.