Behavioural Training for Astronauts for Earthlings

12 June 2016

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Venue: The Community Room Wood Green Central Library 187-197A High Road Wood Green London N22 6XD

Organiser: Giles Bunch

Giles Bunch is an artist who is interested in peculiar social occurrences relating to decision making processes, song, bureaucracy, media representation and human sociality more generally. Giles often researches specific cultural niches (applicants for a one-way mission to Mars or the wording of an eyewear advertising campaign for instance) and uses this information as the starting point for a body of work comprising of performances, collaborations, videos, images, writing and sound. Giles is currently working on a long-term project around the behavioural training process of European Space Agency astronauts and will be starting an MSc in Social Anthropology at LSE in September 2016.

Life aboard the International Space Station appears, at first, to be far removed from the experiences of most humans. Nevertheless, the training that prepares astronauts for responding well to unfamiliar scenarios, supporting and cooperating with others and communicating across cultural differences for example, can be relevant and useful to many earth-dwellers too. Behavioural Training for Astronauts for Earthlings is an experimental workshop in which Giles Bunch will introduce fellow humanoids to some of the processes that European Space Agency astronauts go through as they develop behaviours preparing them for successful space flight. Following this introduction, Earthlings will be invited to collaboratively devise activities and rituals for developing behaviours in preparation for life on our current spaceship: Earth, as well as collectively questioning what values and behaviours will be desirable for future space-faring civilisations. At a moment of renewed interest in the human exploration of Mars, the outer solar system and beyond, Giles hopes to emphasise the social and ethical considerations of space travel over more commonly discussed technical details and to use the workshop as a situation for debating what our responsibilities are for the vessels carrying us, the places we explore and for each other.