Liquid Cosmos at the Lithuanian Space Agency

Since the opening of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, the Lithuanian Space Agency (LSA) has scanned over 30,000 individuals and groups, whose digital bodies are now forming Planet of People. With only a few weeks left to see the pavilion and join this unusual celestial body, the LSA is happy to announce its closing event, which is the result of an experimental study programme Liquid Cosmos initiated by the LSA and run by the KOSMICA Institute along with the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG). The event will present a multi-medium work executed by a group of artists from HfG that reflects on Planet of People as well as space architecture and design.

The LSA, a nomadic initiative, has established its laboratory in Venice at the Renaissance church Santa Maria dei Derelitti for the duration of the Biennale Architettura 2021. There, the agency is running its space programme Planet of People, a speculative extraterrestrial architecture project by the artist and founder of the LSA Julijonas Urbonas that proposes to build a planet entirely from human bodies. At the centre of the laboratory, designed by Isora x Lozuraityte Studio for Architecture in collaboration with the artist Vladas Suncovas, stands a custom-made 3D scanner developed by Studio Pointer*. This scanner allows the LSA to test how the proposition of Planet of People by Urbonas would work and what implications it would have on humanity at large. Based on certain parameters of physics in line with those of Lagrangian Points (specifically L2) where gravity is almost absent, the scanner scans the visitors of the laboratory and “sends” them into this space where they slowly merge into a planet of people. This hypothetical architectural attempt has so far attracted the attention of 60,000 visitors!

In the last days of the Biennale Architettura 2021 (November 19–21, 2021), the LSA will be hosting a presentation of works developed between the artists from HfG and KOSMICA as part of their experimental study programme Liquid Cosmos. In this programme, through a series of seminars and discussions with Nahum—artist and director of KOSMICA—artists explored how throughout history, creatives have envisioned a myriad of critical and poetical space exploration models, Planet of People among them. Their response is a group of interactive installations and performances that will envelop the LSA laboratory in Venice. The participating artists: Éva Csonka, Juhee Han, Kimin Han, Anna-Lina Helsen, Iden Sungyoung Kim, Jungeun Lee, Christina Vinke, Alex Wenger and Michael Bielicky.

The Lithuanian Space Agency, founded by Julijonas Urbonas, is an organisation that researches space architecture and gravitational aesthetics. The LSA acknowledges the radical otherworldliness of the cosmos and aims to redefine the extremes of lived experience and imagination. The agency focuses on exploring the potential roles of architecture, design and art in the new space age, both globally and in the context of Lithuania.

The LSA’s exhibition Planet of People is presented by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, organised by Rupert Centre for Art, Residencies and Alternative Education in Vilnius and commissioned by Julija Reklaitė. The exhibition curator is Jan Boelen, with assistant curator Milda Batakytė. Strategic partner: X Museum.

KOSMICA is a global institute founded in 2011 with a mission to create a space organisation for critical, cultural and poetic discourse on our relationship with outer space, space exploration and the impact of these activities on Earth. KOSMICA curates and produces original content, projects and programmes, bringing together experts across disciplines to explore the cultural impact of space exploration, the future of humanity and the most urgent issues we are currently facing on our planet.

The Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) is a state university founded in 1992 in Karlsruhe. It focuses on media art, communication design, product design, exhibition design and scenography, art research and media philosophy, with strong interdisciplinarity between the departments.

Every person must present an EU Covid Certificate (Green Pass) to access the Lithuanian Pavilion
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Image: Still of Planet of People, 2021. © Julijonas Urbonas. Courtesy of Lithuanian Space Agency