Peak of Eternal Light is a lunar temple that Spanish-born, Amsterdam-based artist Jorge Mañes Rubio intends to realize on the moon. In collaboration with spatial designer firm DITISHOE, Rubio looks to the dawn of civilization for conceptual inspiration, but this temple represents a new age of human colonization. He considers his celestial installation a tabula rasa for the human race.
Tracing age-old anthropological postulations, Rubio deliberates just how profound our practices are. From birth and death rituals to commemorative objects, the artist confronts logistical challenges: “How do you move all the infinite cultural information from Earth to the moon? Which cultural practices will be taken there?”
It’s not entirely a case for simple cultural transmission, either. Rubio believes moon-dwelling humans would evolve to create new lunar rituals over time. “We [made] art inside the darkest caves of our planet more than 30,000 years ago. I think we’ll do the same inside the darkest craters on the moon,” he tells Culture Trip.
The project, still in the conceptual stage, will be partially 3D printed using a synthetic lunar dirt, and partially sculpted out of an on-site boulder in the Shackleton Crater – an “impressive location on the south pole of the moon.” Rubio has released the temple’s plan, and his next step is to release a free app by March 2017 “so [that] anybody with an internet connection can virtually travel to the moon and visit Shackleton Crater, which is an absolutely stunning location quite hard to imagine.”
excerpt taken from Peak of Eternal Light Project!:
"...Joining ESA’s Advanced Concepts Team provided Rubio with the raw substance for modelling environments and creating experiences that he couldn’t have imagined before, his first research bringing up more questions than answers: what are the motivations and needs of new space civilizations going to be? What sort of rituals, aesthetics and new cultural artefacts will be created? When someone is born on the Moon, what culture will he grow into and develop?
Instead of seeing it as just a potential site for groundbreaking scientific discovery, sci-fi tourism or the lucrative exploitation of extraterrestrial natural resources, Rubio chose to look at the Moon as a universal and mythical idea. The Moon, unlike Earth, has no boundaries, no divisions, no nations. Do we have a right to change that? And so he decided the best way to symbolize this dilemma was to build a temple on the Moon. A temple to celebrate the Moon as a powerful symbol of unity for mankind.
The Moon Temple will be located on the rim of the Shackleton, a gigantic impact crater situated right on the south pole of the Moon. With a diameter of 21km and more than 4200m deep, this imposing location is a potential candidate for a future outpost on the Moon due to its unique lighting conditions. While some of its peaks receive almost continuous sunlight, its interior (one of the coldest and darkest places in the Solar System) may have captured water ice, key for a self-sustainable lunar settlement...."
Rubio hopes that people will interact with the artistic proposal and virtually explore its features, such as the “liquid mirror telescope” at the center of the structure. Soon he’ll begin detailing the temple itself, “creating the sculptures and other small objects that will hopefully be finished before the summer.”
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