In 1950, the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi posed a question to his lunch companions: Why haven’t we encountered intelligent life in our universe when there’s a high probability that it exists?

In an attempt to answer what became known as Fermi’s Paradox, experimental philosopher and conceptual artist Jonathon Keats examined human society and concluded that Well, we’re not a particularly welcoming bunch. Maybe our space neighbors haven’t said hello because they don’t feel wanted by Earthfolk. They likely sense hostility toward outsiders in our media, our demeanor, our way of expressing ourselves — which, of course.

To that end, Keats is extending a hand to Fermi’s theoretical extraterrestrial friends with an actual welcome mat. Even if the project doesn’t draw any actual martians, he hopes this common, even clichéd, symbol of hospitality can help us address alienation and growing polarization on our own planet.