This isn’t the first time the artist has dabbled in invented futures. For an exhibition in Japan last year, Rubio collaborated with UBE Industries, one of the country’s largest industrial companies, to tell the imagined life story of a man obsessed with going to the moon. Rubio’s narrative begins when Japanese engineer Akitoshi Fujiyama stumbles upon a lunar meteorite in the midst of a game of golf. He goes on to concoct a plan to finance his own moon mission, one that will allow him to harvest space rocks and later sell them on Earth.
What makes Rubio’s work so compelling is that, despite its speculative tendencies, it’s often not so far from reality. Although Fujiyama is a fictional character, his idea to exploit the moon’s natural resources is certainly not. Just this week, a California startup announced plans to helm the first commercial mining mission beyond the Earth’s orbit in 2020. And in a way, Rubio says, that blurred line between what’s real and what’s imagined is precisely the point of his project.
“I believe that by re-imagining this future colonization of the moon, we can build alternative worlds, and in this utopian process we will manage to see beyond our own limitations and articulate new social scenarios today,” he says. “My work speculates with this future, but at the same time aims for a better understanding of today. When people stop discerning the boundaries between what’s possible and what’s not, that’s when the journey begins.”