On December 10th 2018, the James Hutton Institute made an unprecedented discovery. After comparing soil sets from thousands of sites across Scotland with soil samples sent by NASA's Discovery rover on Mars, they found the basaltic soil on Mull was "strikingly similar" to that found on Mars. A mix of amateur cli-fi horror, abstract landscape documentary and the results from a weekend experimenting with a microscope, ‘From Mull to Mars’ is A+E’s speculative response to the discovery exploring the ethics of contamination, extraterrestrial life-forms, planetary escapism and ecological devastation. The film was a collaboration with Winnie Brook Young.
The film was screened as part of a special edition of BIOSYSTEMS that investigated the genre of Cli-Fi and its role in our ongoing struggle to comprehend climate chaos. Can experiencing the unfamiliar help to change the way humans act and relate to climate crisis? A+E invited Research Fellow in Fantasy Literature Rhys Williams and author and poet Ollie Langmead to guide the attendees through their work and its relevance to this genre, followed by the opportunity to suspend ‘human’ perceptions and enter the weird world of Cli-Fi. Does Cli-Fi encourage escapism or inspire ways of noticing the world around us?
The event was supported by Creative Carbon Scotland as a Green Tease event and it was part of the Unfix 2019 Programme directed by Paul Michael Henry.