Lessons from Biosphere 2

Chicago. July 2011. We—Photographers Luke Batten and Jon Sadler of New Catalogue; Designers Neil Donnelly and Mary Voorhees Meehan; Composer Judd Greenstein; and Curator Claire Carter of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art—convened to talk about a project for the museum. We had never worked together before, though we'd each collaborated with another member of the team. We gathered in Chicago, an obvious meeting place for any transcontinental group, because Luke who has the gravitational pull of the sun was stationed there. We began with an all-you-can-eat Polish buffet.


Later, we sat down at a conference table to discuss how we could work together.


We needed to be prepared to go to space. I think this was largely because NASA was ending its space exploration program and we felt someone must take up the gauntlet and feeling not at all modest we assumed the universe was tapping our rag tag team. There was an article in The Economist. In a bar on our first night there, somber old NASA footage lit up every TV. We sat on stools. Large glass-fronted beverage fridges with big plexi signs on top, DIY replacements of the original branded ones, lined the room.


I think it was the next day that Claire told us how she had visited Biosphere 2. She said, "You know it's called Biosphere 2 because Earth is Biosphere 1."