If you can’t take how much everything sucks in New York anymore, you might want to consider getting out of town. We mean way out, like to Mars.
Don’t laugh. There’s at least one outfit—a Dutch not-for-profit—soliciting intrepid souls go on a one-way voyage to the Red Planet, where they’ll establish a colony by 2027, and people have already signed on. Anyway the whole going-to-Mars thing has sparked a lot of movies over the years, as well as discussions in the media, with the likes of Stephen Hawking opining that humanity will be doomed unless some of us, at least, move there.
The thing is it’s a long trip, taking nine months by most estimates. And there will be hazards to face, like boredom and exposure to cosmic radiation. And then there’s the most pressing issue of all: What will there be to eat?
Currently two artists, Heidi Neilson and Douglas Paulson are pondering just that in a show at Williamsburg’s Pierogi Gallery—more specifically, at it’s ancillary project space, The Boiler. For their show, “The Menu for Mars Kitchen,” they’ve set up a test kitchen to devise sustenance for future Martians that could stand up to the vacuum of space and the harsh environment of their post-Earth home. It’s an interactive show in which would-be interplanetary Mario Batalis or Bobby Flays can come in and whip up recipes with a list of provided ingredients, all of which are freeze-dried, powered or heat-treated as they would be on a Mars expedition. Participants will also conduct experiments in space-farming to find out which plants might grow on a spaceship—and also to discover the best way to compost in low or no gravity.
After the show closes June 20, Neilson and Paulson will send the finished delicacies to NASA, as suggestions for what might work. So who knows? You might just become Mars’s Mayor of Flavortown.