What does it mean to be nostalgic for space? Space allegedly conjures images of the future and the hereafter, hence its colonial fantasy name – the last limit. Traveling into space, however, is a backward venture these days. The angel of history has become an astronaut.
In 2018, Donald Trump's proposals for a US space weapon are a Redux of "Star Wars" of the Reagan era and his vision of a ubiquitous military power. Space entrepreneurs are evoking a mythical flowering of unrestrained growth from the wild, unregulated West.
I too am nostalgic for space, but for one who never existed in my day, white men with lots of money or state power (or both) were the only way out of the planet. And I'm nostalgic for the wild optimism of will and spirit practiced by a creepy heartbreaker and the sad (almost) federal agent Fox Mulder, who said ̵
The speculative could be a stubborn genre of the people partly because we suspect that the form of our world and now the form of space is formed from the speculation of financial capital. But against the machinations of banks and companies, there are other ways to imagine the future. The images given to us by space and by whom it can go are not the ones we have to accept.
On September 17, 2018, Elon Musk tweeted a picture of himself in black pants, a black T-shirt and black boots. He poses in front of the American Flag flagged Falcon Rocket 9. He must think he looks really cool (a belief that so many people give him). In the photo on Musk's shoulders sits Yusaku Maezawa, a man who, as the CEO of online retailer Zozotown, earned millions and gained international attention for spending most of his $ 110.5 million dollars – an American artist, in an auction, an untitled Basquiat painting from 1982. In Musk's tweet, Maezawa is also dressed in billion-dollar basic style (the Normcore took some tax classes to complete).
His top offer is probably a Basquiat tee. Musk pulls them both up, the Japanese billionaire and the Basquiat shirt, as ambassadors for his space colonization company SpaceX. Maezawa, who can spend up to $ 250 million on tickets, will be the first civilian to be sent out over low Earth orbit; He and the SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket crew will be the first people to travel since 1972. One billionaire on the shoulders of another, her smile glowing, her arms outstretched, her body like a human caterpillar of capital. This is the ladder to the moon.
Musk's first luxury moon cruise will begin in 2023. In the meantime, Maezawa will assemble his entourage. To Ted Talk's Musk-style press conference in September 2018, Maezawa said he would like to travel with a group of "top artists" working in sculpture, painting, architecture, photography, music and fashion design. Casting Tech Company Announcements as lectures is one way these businesspeople train as thought leaders.
And Maezawa has great ideas for the journey, which has essentially become a vehicle for his art world endeavors: the terrestrial capitalist as lunar curator. The website for the planned art project #dearMoon offers the usual clichés of fantasy, wonder and awe that space is supposed to trigger. Maezawa believes that once artists see the moon, their art (and then the world) is forever changed by the vision that adventure capitalism allows. The art bubble and the space boom have been brought together, two mill factories whose egomaniacal spaces seldom turn into aesthetic or material changes.
The most ambitious aspect of this project is not the world-changing vision that most likely will not unleash, but rather the fusion of art, space and tourism. The tourism sector in the Lunar Region is based on the long-standing incentive to visit supposedly uninhabited, untouched geography.
While exoticism used to require a background of Aboriginal people, the Moon Cruise orbits the isolation of seagoing vessels and promises a perfected border, one that has been emptied of any annoying human life – except those who can pay for a visit. Richard Branson (worth 5.1 billion US dollars) sells tickets to amateur astronauts for $ 250,000 each. However, when they can use these tickets remains unclear. Jeff Bezos, who is more than thirty times what Branson is, spends a billion dollars a year on his own Blue Origin program, which aims not only to put people into space, but also to send all your things with you. (These Amazon delivery drones (19459022) were just the beginning.) These so-called pioneers do not want an empty frontier, but still have to be tapped by entrepreneurial capital.
The spaceport America is out of the truth or outside of Truth Consequences, New Mexico, works similarly. The facility, which is said to be the world's first commercial spaceport on which Branson and Musk can make their rockets, is more of an empty tourist attraction that wants to mesmerize the scattered visitors with dreams of space life. But this harbor in the middle of the desert is as close as most of these people will ever get into space.
Despite all the talk about our imminent cosmic flight – favorable in times of ever escalating planetary catastrophe – space travel, let alone the colonization may only be made possible by the megarich. At the moment even billionaires like Maezawa can not afford to live there. You can only access a more intense holiday experience behind a rocket window. Musk may have half-convinced himself that he will see the colonization of Mars in his life – he definitely sees himself as a (if not the) engine of the technological future – but below that high guiding star is the profit drive. Elon Musk is a tool. And he makes space a luxury brand.
Not unlike the way collectors turn art objects into a must-have-villa decor for consumption. Tourists often destroy the places they visit because it is less the places that interest them than the experience of being in them. And a big part of that experience is the promise to gain access to the unreachable areas, to have the power to cross borders, and then return to the securely regulated and appropriate places of origin. The adventure of this border hopping is fueled by unsustainable fantasies. Spaceport America is empty. Big Falcon Rocket is hollow. The moon is still an inhospitable alien rock.
We can not let billionaires hoard all beauty. We can not believe that everything they have is beautiful. An excursion with a billionaire and his artist friends, which claims so much of the Earth's resources, is not an inspirational picture of the future – on Earth or in space. Under Musk and the competing tech barons, space has become a gimmick. For sale, a one-way ticket is not from Earthquakes, but from our ability to imagine different ways of life. Instead of a place for a real exploration of our collective future, the space has become something different: the promise of profit. Space is now a scam.
This article was originally published by Lou Cornum on How To Get The Next. You can read it here.
The TNW Conference 2019 is coming! Take a look at our glorious new location, inspiring array of speakers and activities, and learn how to attend this annual tech bonanza. Click here .