2016 | o.n.e."/>

apollonian2016

At the end of 1960ꞌs first images of the Earth as seen from the space occurred, assigning our planet the nickname “Blue marble”. These images continued to be massively distributed after the Moon landing in 1969. The idea of human civilization as a unified entity ungoverned by racial, class and other identity categories, but rendered as a unified whole, gained its visual representation twenty years before the Cold War ended. In a sense, the image of the Earth as seen from its orbit anticipated the end of a binary relationship to the world. Moreover, it became an icon of a globalized world we know today, even though this image is still far from principles of equality called for by the counter-cultural movements from the period of the first flights to space. The flight to the Moon – and its televisual mediation – caused a turnover in the way human perception of the world is organized: for the first time in history the man saw the Earth from the “outside”, from the perspective of its satellite, as a unified whole.

In her new project Martina Nevistić tackles these issues with a multimedia approach to choreography: by juxtaposing recorded and performed material the author tries to point out that deterritorialised images without a grounded gaze prevail in today's communication. At the level of choreography, the issue is dealt with by generating the material through a process of speculation about bodies that adjust to modified physical conditions, different gravitations and unknown biospheres. At the same time, symbolic reference to the flight to the Moon functions as a framework by which it becomes not only possible to make the current crisis of visuality a topic, but also to question the possibilities of transforming this condition.

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“When you're outside in one of those spacesuits, you're really in space. There are no boundaries to what you're seeing. It's like having a goldfish bowl over your head which gives you unlimited visibility. There's a total complete silence and that beautiful view. You're the representative of humanity at that point in history having that experience, in a sense, for the rest of mankind.” Russel L. Schweickart, pilot of Apollo 9 mission

“The moon is different. It's become man's first outpost, our first footstep in space. Where man was able to look back at the earth and see the earth, and see himself in a different perspective.” James R. Irwin, 8th man on the Moon

At the end of 1960ꞌs first images of the Earth as seen from the space occurred, thus assigning our planet the nickname “Blue marble”. These images continued to be massively distributed after the Moon landing in 1969. Although the Moon landing project was motivated by the Cold War competition between the USA and the USSR, the event itself produced an unexpected side-effect. The idea of human civilization as a unified entity ungoverned by racial, class and other identity categories, but rendered as a unified whole, gained its visual representation twenty years before the Cold War ended. In a sense, the image of the Earth as seen from its orbit already anticipated the end of a binary relationship to the world. Moreover, it became an icon of a globalized world we know today, even though this image is still far from principles of equality called for by the counter-cultural movements from the period of the first flights to space.

The flight to the Moon – and its televisual mediation – caused a turnover in the way human perception of the world is organized: for the first time in history the man saw the Earth from the “outside”, from the perspective of its satellite. This produced a paradox of sorts. Famous words spoken by Neil Armstrong on the surface of the Moon attributed to a near mythical dimension of that moment, thus inscribing the thesis about triumph of human civilization in its subtext. As a consequence, humanist idea of man at the center of all things started to crumble, due to this redirected and inverted gaze on Earth. Humanity no longer saw its planet as self-sufficient, but as a tiny piece of a much wider universe in which the human role and influence are minimal.

Imagining space travel and human inhabitation in other parts of this universe had long been popularized by various sub-genres of science fiction. However, it was only after first flights in space were realized and displayed to wide audiences that shifts in perception occurred, shifts which we have already internalized and naturalized. The symbolical moment of the flight to the Moon inaugurated a new optical regime which is founded on a universal visibility, while the main feature of this visibility is its mediation through images: the image of reality becomes more real than the experience of reality itself. Human gaze directed at its home planet becomes displaced, while the feeling of schizophrenia prevails in the subject who casts this gaze.

An absolute availability of images became universal currency in the exchange of experiences. That fact alone supports an idea of crisis of visuality which we are drawn into: over-saturation with images proves our lack of capacity to imagine an alternative world opposed to one we are living in. Therefore, it may be useful to go back to science fiction once more and extract one of its features with which we can potentially confront this handicap of our era – an era which has, not by coincidence, been called the Anthropocene since the 1960ꞌs. Even if the SF trope of inhabiting other worlds abounds with both dystopian and utopian projections of the future, they all share the affinity to imagine and innovate. The category of the new is thus not only rendered as an imperative within the genre, but it is possible to adopt it and apply it in dealing with the aforementioned crisis of visuality as well.

In her new project Martina Nevistić tackles these issues with a multimedia approach to choreography: by juxtaposing recorded and performed material the author tries to point out that deterritorialised images without a grounded gaze prevail in today's communication. At the level of choreography, the issue is dealt with by generating the material through a process of speculation about bodies that adjust to modified physical conditions, different gravitations and unknown biospheres. At the same time, symbolic reference to the flight to the Moon functions as a framework by which it becomes not only possible to make the current crisis of visuality a topic, but also to question the possibilities of transforming this condition.

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