LUNAR CONCRETE Harsbo&Luther Aug-Oct 2020

Karen Harsbo & Rikke Luther DK
EXHIBITION 27 August – 3 October 2020
Lunar Concrete - About moon-regolith through 3Dprint and earth minerals
Research project on space and 3D-ceramic print v. Karen Harsbo (Ceramic Lab) and Rikke Luther (visual artist / PhD project), Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Visual Arts, Copenhagen.

It is interdisciplinary artistic research, linked to Si-Fi, military, political, technological development, aerospace industry. A practical research of the notion of the material moon-regolith through 3D printing and earth minerals.

Karen Harsbo and Rikke Luther's project investigates Lunar Regolith, both as material and input to investigate the forces that are interested in space expansion; science, resource extraction and racing for new territories.

Photo 1: Test with Lunar Regolith simulant, 2019.

There is great interest in regolith, and experiments are being made with many possible applications, such as printing buildings on the moon, 3D-printing tools and other functional equipment and extracting oxygen (contains 45% oxygen).

Photo 2.
Print test in regolith simulant at ESA, Germany, 2019

They have visited ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency) to hear about their plans and research, in particular about the idea of exploiting regolith and possible buildings in space.
They have also visited WASP in Italy, which is working to improve living conditions on Earth through 3D-printed houses in clay.

Photo 3.
3D print test in clay at WASP, Italy, 2019

The project's outputs include seminar presentation, teaching courses at the Academy of Fine Arts and Rikke Luther's film: Concrete: The Great Transformation.

Grateful thanks to The Danish Art Foundation for project funding in 2020.

LUNAR CONCRETE - Text by Karen Harsbo and Rikke Luther
We are in oxygen low water. We are still battered by waves from the 2008-financial crisis. In our time, democracy is aggressively interrogated from many different perspectives, which in turn determine the contexts of artistic action and research.

From one side, the concept of ‘Carbon Democracy’ maps democracy’s entwined relationship to the economies of material extraction, power, and the planetary fact of ‘climate collapse’ [Mitchell, Carbon Democracy]. From another, the concept of ‘Post-Democracy’ maps out the highs and lows of democratic agency.

Here, the peaks of democratic engagement in the 20th century are being levelled down by an era of rising economic and political inequality – a process that occurs both within nation states and between the nation states of the ‘developed’, and ‘developing’, worlds. In parallel, the political power of democracy is increasingly decentralised and weakened, only for that power to be re-centralised in the private boardrooms of post-national corporations.
And, while this process has occurred, our climate has been warming.

Space is full of stories.
And there are many ‘spaces’. Those images of coherence by which we navigate our lives, are rooted in the perspectives of particular places, social relations, history and time [Massey, For Space].
The spaces of landscape, housing and urban life, and the materials we extract to support that version of life, are crisscrossed with human power relations.
We look on a concrete building, and on its material surfaces and interior spaces, and we are met by the 20th century ‘extraction economy’ that gave us the concrete architectures of democracy.
Or perhaps we see the environmental destruction concrete entailed.

Or perhaps we see humankind’s deep space future, a late 21st concrete modernism built on the moon or passing asteroids, as envisaged by advocates of ‘The New Space Industrial Age’.

The confluence, and divergencies, of these stories of habitation have affected how we think of planetary space, environmental change, and emergent climate chaos.
The technological possibility of 3D printing lunar concrete, holds out the possibility of stabilising, and then exporting, current modes of political economy into a space future, by envisaging the earth as merely a set of exhaustible economic assets.
Outer space here takes on the dynamics of the earthly UN Global Commons – ‘free’ spaces that are largely beyond the democracy of nation states and the effective regulatory grasp of international law.

Technological and military organisation have long been extensions of the existing power of the monarch and state into new territories, material and human support for the search for private profit. Meanwhile, back at the planetary level, the progressive associations of concrete Modernism have run into the wall: progress is now encircled by increasingly ‘unseasonal’ weather patterns, and undermined by the daily media outpouring of post-democratic political sentiment. Concrete culture now echoes the mid 20th century observations of Karl Polanyi. But when capitalism faces off against democracy today, it chooses what Colin Crouch dubbed ‘post-democracy’, before stretching itself out across future space.

KAREN HARSBO (b. 1963, Japan) Associate professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Visual Arts Schools, where she has for a number of years taught and researched ceramics in an artistic context, alongside a ceramic, experimental practice. SELECT EXHIBITIONS Charlottenborg Art Gallery, Vejen Art Museum, Silkeborg Art Center, Copenhagen Ceramics, Vejen Art Museum, SAK, Round Tower Gallery, Royal Copenhagen Porcelain, CLAY Denmark's Ceramic Museum. CURATED several exhibitions focusing on ceramic art. ARTISTIC RESEARCH PROJECTS in DK and England, e.g. 'Mediated Matter' and 'Topographies of the Obsolete'..

RIKKE LUTHER (b. 1970) Visual artist, PhD study v. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Visual arts students, PhD project title: Concrete Aesthetics, From Universal Rights to Financial Post-Democracy. Co-founder of the artist groups Learning Site and N55. SELECTED EXHIBITIONS GIBCA / Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Aarhus Kunsthal, CPH: DOX, Kunsthall Trondheim, MIT / US, Bienal de São Paulo / Brasilien, Galerija Nova / Croatia, James Center for the Arts, Woodstock, US. TEACHED AND LECTURE on educations at home and abroad. PUBLISHED MITpress, Half letter Press, RSA publication and Pluto Press, UK..

Photo 4. JAXA, 2019.
The Moon was created by the Earth when the early Earth was hit by a larger object in the sky and the violent collision pushed material into space, which gathered to the Moon. The surface material, regolith, can be compared to basalt, which is also found on earth as a remnant of volcanic eruptions.

The Utopian Gardener, Cobra-room at Sophienholm, 2018
Mediated Matter, Charlottenborg Gallery, 2017
Ane Galeri - Ancestral Gallery, Art Center Silkeborg Bad, 2015
Topographies of the Obsolete, British Ceramic Bienniel, Stoke on Trent, UK 2013
Exploring the site specific and associated histories of post-industry
Entropisk Topologi, Award by Danish Art Foundation, Ann Linnemann Gallery, 2013
Platform, SAK – Art Gallery, Svendborg, 2012


ESA, 3D mud-print for planned film:
Concrete: The Great Transformation
Part of this exhibition

Corruption - We Lost Control Again
Exhibition, Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark, 2019
Rikke Luther & Mikkel Kaldal




Karen Kitani Harsbo, Born in Japan. Lives and work in Denmark.
Artist, ceramist, associate professor at Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art.

1982-87 Danish Design School, ceramics and glass.

2019 Dronninglund Kunstcenter, ”Entangled”
2018 Cobra-rummet v Sophienholm, ”Den Utopiske Gartner”
2017 Kunsthal Charlottenborg, ”Mediated Matter”.
2016 Galleri Houcon, “KælderKællinger”
2016 Huset I Asnæs, Udstilling med Morten Modin og Anne Mette Schultz
2016 Skovhuset, “Pathways”
2015 Silkeborg Bad Artcenter, ”Sanatorium”
2014 Copenhagen Ceramics, ”Out and Back” with Marianne Krumbach
2014 Bornholms Art Museum, ”European Ceramic Context”
2014 Ceramic House Gallery, UK, ”Contemporary Danish Ceramics”
2014 Gammelgaard, ”EKKO”
2013 Vejen Art Museum, ”Betroet Tvivl”
2013 British Ceramic Bienniel, Stoke on Trent, UK
2013 Galleri Ann Linnemann, “Entropisk Topologi”. Award by Danish Art Foundation
2012 SAK, Svendborg, “Roommates”
2011 Guldagergaard, “Fire-friends”
2010 Galleri Ann Linnemann, “Happenstance” with Neil Brownsword
2009 The Japanese Embassy “Japan Rejse”
2008 Bispegården, Kalundborg
2008 Sculpture Bienale. Kings Garden, Copenhagen
2008 Inner Mongolia Art Museum, Hohot, China
2007 Yalu River Art Museum in Dandong, China
2005 Marienlyst Castle, Helsingor, ”Once upon a time…”
2005 Round Tower Gallery, “Reflections”
2004 Grønbechsgaard, Hassle, Bornholm. ”Porcelain”
2003 Vejen Art Museum, ”Bageværk”
2003 Royal Copenhagen Porcelain and Marienlyst Castle,”The White Gold”
2003 The Danish Ceramic Museum CLAY, ”Network”
2003 Marienlyst Castle,” Øjeblikkets Rum”
2000 Trapholt Museum, Keramiktrienial
1999 Charlottenborg, Spring Exhibition
1998 Charlottenborg, Spring Exhibition, Den Frie;KE, and VK-exhibition
1997 Den Frie; Artists Autum exhibition og VK-, price-winner

2017 ”Mediated Matter” m M.E.Andersen, Kunsthal Charlottenborg
2013 ”Betroet Tvivl”, Vejen Art Museum
2011 “Magic of Clay – Ceramics in Int. Contemporary Art “, Gl.Holtegård, co-curated
2005 ”Once upon a time…”, Marienlyst Slot, Helsingør,
2003 ”The White Gold”, Royal Copenhagen and ”Bageværk”, Vejen Art Museum

2019- 20 ”Lunar Concrete”, m Rikke Luther. Måne regolith og 3D print
2014-16 ”Mediated Matter”, projekt på Kunstakademiet om 3D-print og digitalitet
2013-14 ”Topographies of the Obsolete”, internationalt projekt med N, DK, D, UK

PUBLIC WORK (selected)
2009 Urban-planen, Amager, ” CrossOver” .
2006 Østerhøj, Ballerup. “Udsigtstrappen, Promenade rampen og Stenhavestien”
2005 Eggerslevmagle School, projekt by group K+, Skælskør

2013-15 Award by the Danish Arts Foundation
2003 Anne Marie Telmanyi født Carl-Nielsens Fond
1991 Denmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond af 1968 - Ellen & Knud Dalhoff Larsens Fond

Phd researcher at Institute of Art and Culture (IKK), Copenhagen University, Danish Royale Art Academy, and ACT.

2017-2020 MIT program in Art, Culture and Technology, School of Architecture and Planning,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, US
1991-1998 The Royal Danish Art Academy
2004-2015 Founder of Learning Site
1999-2003 Co-founder of N55

PART TIME/ HONORARY POSITIONS - Selected Public Talks, Guest Lectures, Symposia and teaching
2018 Nordic Geography Doctoral Network, Thinking Spatiality: Cities, Nature and Society, Lund University, SE
2018 WERN2018 – World-Ecology Research Network Conference, Helsinki University, Helsinki, FIN
2018- Affiliate at the MIT program in Art, Culture and Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, MA, US
2017-18 The Eco Commons.. In the Time of Messed Up Democracy, Danish Royal Art Academy, Copenhagen, DK
2017 Collaboration and Community-Building in Contemporary Art in Japan and Denmark, IKK, University of Copenhagen, DK
2016 Zooetics, Bozar - Center for Fine Art Brussel, Belgium
2015 Public Place in it ́s Melt Down Area, Towards Civic Art, MIT program in Art, Culture and Technology, (ACT) School of Architecture and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, US. Teacher/speaker
2015 KHIO, Art & Public Space, Oslo, N. Teacher and Guestspeaker
2014 Design as Survival, Resistance, and Transformative Action, Harvard University, Graduate School Design, Boston, US. Guestspeaker
2013/05/01 Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, Stockholm, Sweden. Teacher and Guestspeaker
2010 Creative Time Summit, Cooper Union, New York, US
2010 The Politics and Aesthetics of Organization, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
2006/05/01 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, US. Guestspeaker
2005 Cátedra Arte de Conducta, University of Havana, Cuba

2007-13 Professor, DJK (The Academy of Jutland) DK
2012-13 Guest Professor, Haute École D'art de et design Genève, work.master, MA
2007 (Fall) Guest Professor, The Sculpture Department, The Royal Danish Art Academy, DK

2019 GIBCA /Göteborg Ineternational Biennal for Contomporary Art, (Lisa Rosendahl), SE
2019 Corruption: We Lost Control Again, Aarhus Kunsthall, (Jacob Fabricius), Aarhus, DK
2019 CPH:DOX* Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival /Next:Wave, Copenhagen, DK
2018 Rivers of Emotion, Bodies of Ore, Kunsthall Trondheim, (Lisa Rosendahl), Trondheim, N
2018 Aesthetics of Persuasion, (Linda Weintraub), Woodstock Byrdeliffe Guild Kleinert/
James Center for the Arts, Woodstock, US
2018 In Our Present Condition, (Gediminas Urbonas, Lars Bang Larsen, Laura Knott), MIT, Cambridge, US
2016 Living in the End Times, (Katharina Stenbeck), Galerija Nova, Croatia
2016 Mesures of Uncertainty, 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, , São Paulo, Brazil
(Jochen Volz with Gabi Ngcofo, Júlia Reboucas, Lars Bang Larsen)

2017 Sand in the Architecture of Democracy, paper
2017 Public Space - Lost and Found, Gediminas Urbones & Ann Lui (eds.,), MIT Press, Boston, US
2016 Sound Art, Sound as a Medium of Art, (ed. Peter Weibel), text by Brandon Labelle, MIT Press, Boston, US
2014 An Edge Effect/Art & Ecology in the Nordic Landscape, (ed. Bonnie Fortune), Half Letter Press, US
2012 Architectural Inventions - Visionary Drawings, Eds. Bua and Goldfarb, Laurenceking, US
2010 Dark Matter - Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture, G.Scholette, Pluto Press, UK
2010 Kritische Komplizenschaft/Critical Complicity, edt. L. Mazza / J. Moritz, Schlebrügge.Editor, Austria
2006 LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook, ed. Max Andrews, RSA publication, London, UK