Last week, artist James Gurney posed a question on his blog. He presented two options and asked which you’d prefer:
- Spend the rest of your life trapped in a library or art museum, with unrestricted access to all the world’s great works of art, literature, film, etc? Or…
- Spend the rest of your life outdoors in nature, but never have access to any form of art again?
Personally, I lean toward the life trapped in a library/art museum option, but still… it’s a tough decision. But then I started thinking more about this. Or perhaps over-thinking it. Why would I be trapped indoors with all this art? Why can’t I go outside? And then the answer occurred to me: Mars.
At some point in the future (perhaps not the near future, but at some point in the future, I’m sure) humanity will establish its first colony on Mars. As that colony grows, the colonists will develop their own customs, their own culture, and ultimately their own art.
There would be a growing interest in having a venue where artists could showcase their work, and someone would have to curate the collection of original Martian artwork. I guess this isn’t exactly the scenario James Gurney was envisioning. You could still go outside, if you wear your E.V.A. suit, and you wouldn’t have unrestricted access to all the great art of the world—just all the art of a world.
But still, the more I’ve pondered Mr. Gurney’s original question, the more I’ve liked the idea. This sounds like an interesting job, being the curator for the first art museum on Mars. I’d take that job. Or at the very least, I might write a story about the person who has that job.
So what about you? If you had to choose, would you choose a life without nature or a life without art? And what sort of scenario do you imagine might force you to make that choice?