On 5 October 1995, Michael Major and Didier Queloz announced the discovery of 51 Pegasi b - the first planet ever found outside our solar system.
The discovery of exoplanets like 51 Pegasi b motivates scientists more than ever to look for possible signs of extraterrestrial life forms.
Every day more and more examples are found and some of them are even said to be situated in the Habitable Zone of their Sun, providing »the basic conditions for the formation and development of life«.
But how exactly do we define these conditions? Can we even think on a basis other than our own?
The artistic research project »Habitable Zone« deals with distant parallel worlds and thus questions our innermost relationship to ourselves.
From which perspective and with which state of mind do we look at »the foreign«, »the distant«, »the other«?
(How) can we leave our self-focused view behind in order to establish a new sensitivity for alternative forms of existence?
The Habitable Zone is a speculative parallel world with its own physical conditions.
It is based on elementary particles, the »Qulst«, and is ordered by a diamond-shaped grid, the »Quaster«.
As human visitors of this foreign world, we get to know the two figures »Spitz« and »Haube«, both inhabitants and scientists of the Habitable Zone.
They are the main protagonists of a written narrative in which they attempt to describe the functioning of their own world.
The text is part of a system-based installation of apparatuses, objects, films and images.
For us, these things might seem like aesthetic fragments of a pseudoscientific laboratory.
For "Spitz" and "Haube", however, these are the experimental setups with which they carry out their investigations.
The project is an attempt to question our position as human beings by providing the mirror image of a different concept of »worlding«.
It reflects not only long-developed concepts of scientific knowledge acquisition but also the foundations of a critically posthumansist mindset.