A woman has never been to the Moon. Not only were we historically left out of the space race that placed 6 Apollo Missions on the Moon, we have been left out of cultural documentation to such an extent that it can only be said to have been meticulously done. Allow us to be clear when we say that we know we are reactionary but we are forthright: we want to put a woman on the Moon.
The physical and spiritual bond that women have had with the Moon is ageless. Our menstrual cycles have been tied to the positions of the moon, we have either worshipped or been worshipped as lunar deities, and this relationship has been written into linguistic and calendric systems in all cultures. In fact, one moon day lasts the length of the average woman’s menstrual cycle. We are connected to the moon in a way that men will never understand. But how will this connection change when we are no longer of this Earth, but living on the Moon or other planets? Removed from the gravitational pull of the Earth, removed from the moonlight that has guided us in the past, how will we change physiologically and how can we document the past of womanhood for the benefit of future space generations?
To some, a Moon Village represents a fresh start, or the beginning of something greater. Whereas past space exploration has focused on race and nationalistic competition, the mission to establish a human settlement on the Moon will be one of co-operation and congruity. These ideologies, and the principles of cyclical processes and harmonizing between all life forms will be essential for when we extend even further into space. We don’t see the Moon Village as an opportunity for a fresh start rather, as an opportunity to return to an old way of life.
When we lived in matriarchal communities, menstrual blood was a symbol of strength, and female leaders did not create hierarchical societies, but urged co-operation, harmony, and the ideologies of a woven community. Artemis 11 is a 1x1x1cm glass orb that has been infused with the menstrual blood from an anonymous woman to be placed in the Moon Gallery, a collaborative artist initiative working with the European Space Agency.
In Neo-Pagan times, the lunar deity was depicted as the Triple Goddess, that each side of her would represent the others, and that all three represented a whole. We will therefore collect and refrigerate vials of menstrual blood from 3 women. One vial will be selected using a double-blind method, and this vial will be the blood that we use when working with glass technicians.
The two natural materials represent the relationship between womanhood and the Earth, and with their infusion we question the implications of humanity’s return to the Moon. Let us not now forget about the lessons of past women. Artemis 11 is a symbol for the history that we don’t want to lose. Knowing that it may become a relic of womanhood as we know it, we hope that it will also serve as a reminder of the spirit of collaboration and harmony that is important for further space exploration.
This project is part of Moon Gallery, an international collaborative artwork and a gallery of ideas worth sending to the Moon. Moon Gallery intends to launch 100 artifacts to the Moon within the compact format of a 10 x 10 x 1 cm plate on a lunar lander exterior panelling as early as 2022.
Artemis 11 has been shown with Moon Gallery at ESTEC (2018), Salone del Mobile (2019), Hoogtij (2019), Designblok Prague International Design Festival (2019), Museumnacht Amsterdam (2019).
In collaboration with Sarah Bovelett