2022, On the moon
In addition to the dream of flying, mankind has been imagining going to the moon for centuries, from Lucian of Samosata II B.C. to Elon Musk, although not always motivated by the same reasons. For Astolfo, in Ludovico Ariosto’s opera, going to the moon was the only way to recover Orlando’s lost wits. But once on the star, the interstellar traveller realises that he too has lost part of his reason. Here, in fact, are found ampoules with the reason of those on earth who, for one reason or another, have forgotten part of themselves. To go to the moon for the Americans and Russians of the last century was to move the war, the conflict, the challenge, to the sky, it was to account for skills and knowledge, technological innovations, to go beyond the earth’s borders to show the world who was stronger. It was symbolic, a struggle in which the narrative was worth more than actually being there. In fact, whether or not there was a man on the moon is of less value than the narrative of it. If it were actually an Orson Welles film, it would certainly be a sublime film.
For Elon Musk, and other multi-millionaire entrepreneurs, going to the moon and getting people into space is a business. Perhaps this should not surprise us: after all, they are heirs to the history that preceded them: on the one hand the childish desire of these gentlemen to go to the moon, a whim they can afford, on the other hand opening up another world, making it accessible, turning it into another consumer good. “Yet the moon belongs to no one, and no one can buy it”. International treaties define it as ‘the common heritage of mankind where any form of national appropriation or claim to sovereignty, as well as the exercise of private ownership, is prohibited, in addition to arms’. And let us hope that we do not have to go back on these words, that we do not have to question the ownership of the moon, making it just another land of conquest. Sometimes, one’s vision gets blurred when one looks too much at this star, especially on nights when the moon is full; lunatics, moodies, witches, wizards, werewolves and other bizarre, abnormal beings, people who believe that the whole universe is full of God, and that the universe is infinite, that our earth, our moon, our sun, are only a tiny part of the cosmos, have ended up marginalized, condemned, singled out as heretics or madmen. Yet today we speak of the multiverse in physics!
Lunatics and witches, too many have been locked up or burnt. In a Manichean division, which all too often seems the only one possible, humanity has always seen the ‘Dark’ as evil and the ‘Light’ as good. The people of the moon, the people of the night, the people of lost wits, the people of the morning dew, who knows if it is not precisely that which awakens us from the sleep of the day, from fatigue, from forgetfulness. Who knows if that people, in the dream, does not suggest to science new instruments of research and to us new forms of idle life, in which it is possible with a poem to buy a coffee. Since the light of the sun makes everything visible to the point of blinding us by its abundance, the light of the moon, on the other hand, reflects, weighs, illuminates few things, but in depth. Collection of ideas, suggestions and contributions by Irene Panzani, editor of GIUNGLA, following the discussion group held at the Agorà Civic Library in Lucca in May 2022. Thank you to all the participants!
Tutti questi corpi sono mondi et senza numero.
Irem Tok, Hydromancy
Site-specific installation for the Botanical Garden of Lucca, 2022.
Bertrand Dezoteux, Endymion, 2020
Ariane Michel, La forêt des gestes, 2019
MANIFESTO BRUTAL – The night is also a sun.
By Giorgia Frisardi – Mattia Pellegrini with Jesal Kapadia, Eleonora Biagetti,
Edoardo Pellegrini, Corrado Chiatti, Marco Fellini.
French astronomer, astrophysicist and educator specializing in the field of space pollution.
Full Professor of Environmental and Applied Botany at the University of Pollenzo
Associate Professor in General Botany at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice