I Put a Spell on You

Alice Bucknell

‘The Martian Word for World is Mother’, 2021. Film

Working primarily through game engines and speculative fiction, Alice Bucknell explores interconnections between ecology, magic and non-human and machine intelligence.

Alice Bucknell uses the idiom of magic as a vehicle to engage with the legacy of colonialism, racial injustice and to empower the de-voiced. As she tells writer and critic Amy Hale, “my interest in magic as a kind of technology stems from its ability to break apart, or break down, certain systems of thinking that have led us into [this] multi-pronged crisis […] it also proposes a speculative and open-ended way out of the mess of the present towards multiple possible futures.”

Her film ‘The Martian Word for World is Mother’ offers three proposals for the future habitation of Mars: Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars. These explore different possibilities for the planet’s future – such as whether to continue the extractive industries that have contributed to planet Earth’s ecological destruction, or to give life back to Mars, without taking anything in return.

Recent exhibitions include Fiber Festival, Amsterdam (2023); I’ll Be Your Mirror, The Modern, Texas, USA (2023); Swamp City, Art Project Space, London (2022); Freeport, Epoch Gallery, LA (2021); B3 Moving Image Biennial, Germany (2020); Scrolling the Arcane, Porto Planetarium, Portugal (2020); Tomorrow: London, White Cube, London (2020).