At the beginning of the 1970s, American physicist Gerard K. O’Neill developed the first ideas for colonizing space. Shortly thereafter, Stewart Brand, cyber-communard and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, took up these ideas and published the book Space Colonies in 1977. Space Colonies, an edition of Brand’s CoEvolution Quarterly, funded by the proceeds of the Whole Earth Catalog, took up the question of whether space might be colonized by the year 2000.
Artist Fabian Reimann takes up Brand and O’Neill’s particular strain of techno-utopianism in Space Colonies: A Galactic Freeman’s Journal. In his photo-essay Reimann assembles historical, present-day and speculative material, combining these with fictional and factual stories to create a composite of different images of the world. With global ecological disaster an even more pressing issue than it was in 1977, and the colonization of space still touted by some as a last-ditch resort, Reimann looks back at the dreams and nightmares of the 1970s with a sophisticated visual humor.
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