Space street art! Our first graffiti in space

Many kids and teens paint or spray irreverent, subversive drawings on walls, doors and everywhere else. One subject has always been a favorite, and now our Spirit has drawn it in the sand of Mars!

The story is all over the Internet. says: “Has juvenile humor landed on Mars? The Internet is buzzing today (April 24) over a phallic design etched into the Red Planet’s surface nine years ago by NASA’s Spirit rover, with some folks suggesting the robot’s drivers drew it on purpose out of boredom, mischievousness or some combination of the two.”

“But the truth is much more prosaic. The phallic shape naturally resulted when the six-wheeled Spirit, which was declared dead in 2010, made a turn,” continues

Another interpretation: our collective soul, our spirit (it is not a chance that the rover is called Spirit), has subtly influenced soulless circuitry of the rover (entanglement?) to leave our first mark of defiance beyond Earth.

There is a strong current of activism and subversion in street art (Wikipedia). Frequent themes include subversion, culture jamming, reclaiming the streets. Street art is a challenge and a claim of ownership, we are here and the street and the city belong to us, and don’t you forget it. As kids and teens reclaim the streets, we — our species is just a poor kid in the cosmic scene of advanced civilizations — are starting to reclaim the universe. Then we will move out there, hack reality and work magic.

Boys find this specific shape interesting. Probably everyone has a different reason, I used to interpret it as something like stick it up [you know where]. I used to know a very reprehensible young man who used to draw it on his first ballot slips, with very clear instructions. It means raising the middle finger to the world and the universe, fuck off everyone. I like to interpret this graffiti drawn in the sand of Mars as a coming-of-age thing, FUCK our confinement on planet Earth, and also FUCK death, mortality, vulnerability, helplessness, poverty, and all limitations, and also FUCK YOU, the hyper-advanced aliens in the rich neighborhoods, we are coming out to get you.

Actually, I think we will just become adults and rich and join the hyper-advanced aliens in the rich galactic neighborhoods of the Universe and beyond, but poor kids don’t know that.

NASA image