Issue 10 Property Spring 2003

Land Acquisition 3: Eastern Amazonis Planitia, Mars

Sina Najafi

Fredric Jameson once wrote that it is easier for us to imagine the wholesale destruction of our planet than some alternative system of political economy not based on liberal capitalism and private property. No wonder then that the drive to interplanetary travel is inevitably accompanied by the fantasy of owning land on other planets.

For the third installment of our property acquisition project, we have succumbed to the dream of purchasing land on Mars. We have no plans for skyscrapers or casinos. We imagine the 3.125 selims (3.125 square miles) of land we own on Mars will be enough to host a number of artist projects and a small glass house from which we can look back at Earth. Our planet may be writhing in lies and genocides, frustrations and injustices, but from Mars, it will be easier to believe in the humanist dream that there is some kernel of humanity that we all share. And sitting in our Martian home, we will remember all the things that, in the words of Jacques Sojcher, life on earth often obscures: "The element of chance introduced by circumstances, calm or haste, sun or cold, dawn or dusk, the taste of strawberries or abandonment, the half-understood message, the front-page of newspapers, the voice on the telephone, the most anodyne conversation, the most anonymous man or woman, everything that speaks, makes noise, passes by, touches us lightly, meets us head on."

Come with us to Mars and watch Earth rise.


Location of Cabinet's estate on Mars marked by white box.



"Deed" to our Martian base of operations

Sina Najafi is editor-in-chief of Cabinet.

Cabinet is a non-profit organization supported by the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, and many generous individuals. All our events are free, the entire content of our many sold-out issues are on our site for free, and we offer our magazine and books at prices that are considerably below cost. Please consider supporting our work by making a tax-deductible donation by visiting here.