In 1947, during the Cold War’s nuclear threat, a group of atomic scientists founded the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic representation of the likelihood of global catastrophe that indicates how close we are to midnight, or world destruction. The main factors influencing the clock are nuclear risk and climate change. In 2023, the clock’s minute hand has moved, setting the clock at 90 seconds to midnight, and it is still ticking.
Nowadays, we are witnessing the privatization of space and the accelerated development of the space industry. Due to advances in miniaturization and reusable rocket technologies, this industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming decades, with the hope of leading humanity towards life in space. This development brings us closer to a science-fiction-like reality and is marketed as a solution for human existence. However, it is actually part of the problem, as it creates a divide between the ultra-rich and the rest of humanity and disregards moral restrictions.
Light to the Nations by artist and filmmaker Yael Bartana is a proposal aimed at saving humankind in the face of a global catastrophe that would extinguish any possibility of life on Earth. This proposal is influenced by post-apocalyptic science-fiction literature as well as a critique of today’s accelerated technological progress and a fear of the economic and political forces involved in it.
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