In 1928, in the book “The problem of space travel”, the slovenian roket engeneer Horman N. Potočnik wrote:
“Since the beginning of time, mankind has considered it as an expression ofits Earthly weakness and inadequacy to be bound to the Earth, to be unable to free itself from the mysterious shackles ofgravity. Not without good reason then has the concept of the transcendental always been associated with the idea of weightlessness, the power “to be able freely to rise into the sky.” And most people even today still take it as a dogma that it is indeed unthinkable for Earthly beings ever to be able to escape the Earth. Is this point of view really justified?"
Could it be that this is what Aerocene come to answer when they visited Ljubljana on 25 April 2018? Their explorer was in the air on the second day of the 9th edition of the European Commissions yearly conference on Mobility and Transport that took place in Slovenia, Potočnik’s birth country. Aerocene is an artistic group striving towards resilient models of coexisting in the atmosphere. This is practiced by big black balloons being lifted from the ground only by the heat of the sun and the radiation from the Earth. And this is how questions are asked. How do we create fossil free aerosolar infrastructure? What engagements are necessary to cohabit the air? How do we practice border free mobility in a politically divided world? Should we adjust our rhythm to the one of the Sun?
I know utopians are boring and every enthusiasm shown gets quickly sanctioned but without aspiration to change we might rush towards self-destruction. Ljubljana air is full, viruses, radio-waves, drones and tremendous amount of aerosol but at 6.00 am on 26 April, fossil free were just aerocene’s explorer and the city pigeons. Why wake up at 5.00 am to watch air balloons being lifted in the air, because living in a joy deprived society gets you hooked on every bits of dreaminess presented. So go ahead and surprise yourself with a rebellious thought as aerocene’s one. Because as Albert Camus puts it “This insane generosity is the generosity of rebellion, which unhesitatingly gives the strength of its love and without a moment’s delay refuses injustice. Its merit lies in making no calculations, distributing everything it possesses to life and to living men. It is thus that it is prodigal in its gifts to men to come. Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”