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A free online screening of the stranger-than-fiction documentary SPACESHIP EARTH plus a live panel conversation and director masterclass.

About this Event

The Capitol and RMIT University present an online event series for space junkies, eco-futurists, and lockdown existentialists. The lineup includes a screening of Matt Wolf’s stranger-than-fiction documentary Spaceship Earth (2020), plus a two-day provocation covering climate resilience, earthly dystopias, speculative fictions, life on Mars, eco-futurism, astrofuturism, and the social experimentation emerging from the experience of being locked down in our own private biospheres at home.

Tune in for a live panel discussion on Thursday 5 November with Professor Michelle Gee, Director of the Sir Lawrence Wackett Centre, speculative fiction writer Dr. Rose Michael, and speculative designer Dr. Ollie Cotsaftis – all from RMIT – followed by a masterclass with NYC-based director Matt Wolf on Friday 6 November. Our talking events screen at

Filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow Matt Wolf’s Spaceship Earth showcases the journey of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem in the Arizona desert called Biosphere 2. The experiment set out to explore the viability of establishing human existence on other planets but the ‘biospherians’ faced life-threatening ecological disaster, interpersonal tensions and a growing criticism from the outside world that it was nothing more than a cult.

Wolf’s film stitches together present-day and archival footage – drawn from over 600 hours of material – to tell this almost unbelievable moment in history, at the time a worldwide media sensation, but which now seems to be the stuff of science fiction.

In our present state of social isolation and with concerns over global warming and ecological preservation an urgent reality, this thrilling, utopian experiment is even more fascinating and poignant than when the biospherians first launched themselves into their Earth-bound geodesic dome.

“While making this film, I never could have imagined that a pandemic would require the entire world to be quarantined. Like all of us today, the biospherians lived confined inside, and they managed day to day life with limited resources, often under great interpersonal stress. In light of Covid-19, we are all living like biospherians, and we too will re-enter a new world. The question is, how will we be transformed?” says Wolf, who premiered the film at Sundance this year.

The screening takes place virtually with DocPlay.

The conversation and masterclass take place virtually at

All event links and instructions sent with registration.

“If you thought spending a month indoors binge-watching Netflix and ordering delivery was some sort of gruelling quarantine ordeal, imagine being sealed inside a giant glass terrarium in the Arizona desert with seven other people for two years, all while operating a self-sufficient farming project and managing a working replica of the Earth’s ecosystem.”ABC


Your operating manual includes:

+ A free online screening of Spaceship Earth

The film will be available to stream anytime you choose. Or join our Watch Party at 7.30pm Wed 4 Nov to watch together, apart.

+ A Panel Conversation

Ground control to lockdown town: Should we leave Earth? Provocations from science, speculative design & science fiction

5.30pm Thu 5 Nov

With RMIT’s Professor Michelle Gee, Director of the Sir Lawrence Wackett Centre, and speculative designer Dr. Ollie Cotsaftis in conversation with speculative fiction writer Dr. Rose Michael.

+ A live Masterclass with NYC-based Spaceship Earth director/producer

10am AEDT Fri 6 Nov

Matt Wolf (Wild Combination, Teenage, Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project) will cover his archival-led approach to documentary filmmaking, long-form interviewing, themes across his body of work, and the making of Spaceship Earth.

FREE, registration essential.

While this event series is FREE, we hope you will consider supporting CERES with a tax-deductible donation. CERES is a Melbourne-based environmental education centre, urban farm and social enterprise hub working to promote economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Donate here and to help us keep track of your donation, please write in the donation text field “LOVE FROM SPACESHIP EARTH”.

All details and links sent on registration. By registering you also have the opportunity to pre-submit your questions for consideration during the Q&A and/or the Masterclass.

Stay in touch:

Instagram: @thecapitolrmit

Facebook: @thecapitolrmit

Please note, by confirming your RSVP your email will be subscribed to The Capitol's email newsletter, which you can unsubscribe from at any time.

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