English / Deutsch

4.5.2008 | Zeiss-Großplanetarium, Berlin

The Cosmonaut of the Erotic Future: A Brief History of Levitation from St. Joseph to Yuri Gagarin

Lecture by Aaron Schuster

The Cosmonaut of the Erotic Future is a cultural-historical exploration of levitation, bringing together philosophy, religion, literature, art, science, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and popular culture. The presentation focuses on two key moments in the history of levitation, separated by approximately three hundred and thirty years: the flights of St. Joseph of Cupertino, the most renowned of all levitating saints (especially praised for his ability to fly backwards), and Yuri Gagarin’s epochal space voyage. The night’s trajectory takes the audience from Avicenna’s eleventhcentury meditations on the "flying man" to the poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire, the famous stage illusionism of David Copperfield, and the zero-gravity sex scene at the end of Moonraker, with special stops along the way at Bruce Nauman’s studio and the maglev train at the Pudong International Airport. The lecture is followed by a short trip into space. Not for the vertigo-prone.