Hypnosis, Moon Travels and De-colonisation of the Extraterrestrial

I performed my first trip to the Moon on 9 June 2017. The launch site was the fifth floor of an old building in Hamburg, Germany. The crew included approximately twenty people, none of which had undergone any sort of astronaut training. The “mission” was a performance titled Voyage: A Session ForRemembering…, by Mexican performance artist Nahum, who, through a mix of hypnosis and guided meditation, “implanted”a “lost” memory of a lunar sojourn into the minds of all attendants. The experience was truly mesmerising, if only because—whether we fell asleep or whether we actually went into hypnosis—whenever, in future, we recall the occasion, we will remember that we travelled to the Moon together. Having that collective memory is important.While it is undeniable that such memory will be coloured according to our own visual recollections of how the Moon looks like in popular science fiction films, or as it is depicted inscientific imagery, it is the personal encounter witht he Moon that has in itself a profound political, historical, and aesthetic potential.This paper addresses the sensorial dimension of the extraterrestrial, and questions the soft-colonisation to which it is subject as aresult of the politics and economics of the material extraterrestrial exploration of the XX and XXI centuries. The paper inspects Nahum’s work and other cases of performance artists working with radio astronomy in order to suggest ade-colonial epistemology of the extraterrestrial based on our permanent sensorial encounter with the universe.

FELIPE CERVERA’s main research focus is the intersection of extraterrestrial exploration and performance theory. Secondary interests include practice-as-researchin performance, Islamic and Malay theatricalities, and thepolitics of theatre. He holds an MA in Drama by Practice-as-Research from the University of Kent (UK),and a BA in Dramatic Literaturefrom UNAM (Mexico). His essays have appeared in Investigación Teatral, Performance Research,Performance Philosophy, Global Performance Studies and Theatre Research International. As an actor and director, he has worked in Mexico, UK, and Singapore. He serves in Performance Studies international’s Future Advisory Board, and co-leads the international research group, After Performance.