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Visions, Speculations & Dystopias: A Deep Dive Into Spaceship Earth

Date: Wed November 4 2020 12:00 am to Fri November 6 2020 11:59 pm

RMIT Culture and The Capitol present
Ground control to lockdown town: Should we leave Earth?
Provocations from science, speculative design and speculative fiction
5.30pm, Thursday 5 November 

RMIT Writing and Publishing is thrilled to be working with The Capitol on Visions, Speculations & Dystopias: A deep dive into Spaceship Earth featuring RMIT Writing and Publishing speculative fiction novelist Rose Michael. 

This free online event series includes a screening of Matt Wolf’s compelling documentary Spaceship Earth and covers climate catastrophe and resilience, speculative futures, life on Mars, and the social experiment emerging from the experience of being locked down in our own private spheres at home – plenty of fodder for ’Topia writers of all kinds (utopian and dystopian)!’ space junkies, eco-futurists, and lockdown existentialists.


A free online screening of the stranger-than-fiction documentary SPACESHIP EARTH plus a live panel conversation and director masterclass.

The Capitol and RMIT University present an online event series for space junkies, eco-futurists, and lockdown existentialists. The lineup includes a screening of Matt Wolf’s stranger-than-fiction documentary Spaceship Earth (2020), plus a two-day provocation covering climate resilience, earthly dystopias, speculative fictions, life on Mars, eco-futurism, astrofuturism, and the social experimentation emerging from the experience of being locked down in our own private biospheres at home.

Tune in for a live panel discussion on Thursday 5 November with Professor Michelle Gee, Director of the Sir Lawrence Wackett Centre, speculative fiction writer Dr. Rose Michael, and speculative designer Dr. Ollie Cotsaftis – all from RMIT – followed by a masterclass with NYC-based director Matt Wolf on Friday 6 November. Our talking events screen at thecapitol.tv.

Filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow Matt Wolf’s Spaceship Earth showcases the journey of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem in the Arizona desert called Biosphere 2. The experiment set out to explore the viability of establishing human existence on other planets but the ‘biospherians’ faced life-threatening ecological disaster, interpersonal tensions and a growing criticism from the outside world that it was nothing more than a cult.

Wolf’s film stitches together present-day and archival footage – drawn from over 600 hours of material – to tell this almost unbelievable moment in history, at the time a worldwide media sensation, but which now seems to be the stuff of science fiction.

In our present state of social isolation and with concerns over global warming and ecological preservation an urgent reality, this thrilling, utopian experiment is even more fascinating and poignant than when the biospherians first launched themselves into their Earth-bound geodesic dome.

For more information and bookings, visit the Eventbrite page here.

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