vostokproject, or how to navigate without instruments


Vostokproject, or how to navigate without instruments. By Gonzalo Carrasco Purull.

On April 12, 1961, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Yuri Gagarin entered the small cabin of Vostok 1. A radio and a television crew were the only equipment available where it would be a late twentieth-century epics. The flight was fully automated, becoming the board blocked, Yuri Gagarin making more than a pilot, was rather a passenger, one sent to the border as possible. He carried with him an envelope with the code numbers of the ship, which in case of failures in the navigation, let him take control and return. Yuri thus become a pilot only to the impending catastrophe.
They say that Yuri Gagarin to leave Earth’s atmosphere only managed to say “the earth is blue.” A first words were born from the stupor of the navigator that comes from the known to venture into the vastness of the incomprehensible. Words that lacked the pomp of those by Armstrong years later. Nikita Khrushchev made quickly solve, stating that the cosmonaut what he actually said was “here do not see any God.”
But what was the young son of a carpenter, was something that went beyond ideology. In the solitude of their orbit at 315 km altitude, Yuri Gagarin Earth looked like nobody had ever done. The fragmentary, dispersed, the complex, fractured, his eyes reached the intelligibility of completeness. While circling with their eyes full of blue, after the thick glass of the Vostok capsule, felt that such beauty before him was absolutely precarious. A vision that led him to exclaim, “residents of the world, we protect this beauty, not destroy it.”
Upon returning after 84.34 minutes to orbit around the Earth, the equipment bay of the ship did not leave, burning upon entering the atmosphere. All Vostok rested on this delicate balance between control and disaster. So the technology is again showed itself as incomplete. Where it is not excluded neither error nor the ruling – but on the contrary – is tied firmly to a contingency of place and time.
Gagarin was saved descending by parachute. A Russian peasant was the first person to look at Yuri’s eyes, flooded with a blue precarious beauty. A blue that was perhaps trying to reach that day in March of ’68, when he lost control of his MIG-15. A blue after which appeared at least for a moment, coherence behind the fragmented, dispersed than in what is ultimately the art of the contemporary.
Like the flight of Yuri, vostokproject proposes a flight without instruments to the unstable atmosphere of a contemporary setting fragmented, differentiated and complex. A world orphan grand narratives, heroes and myths. A scenario in which we move with a minimum life support equipment, where the tools to function in it needs to be assembled daily. It is in this place of hyper-modernity, beyond the “isms”, “avant-“, “neo-“, “trans-” and “post-” where vostokproject orbit. A trip to the definition of an agenda for the temporary and precarious. An agenda in a gaseous state, consisting of ideas on the boil.VKPK.

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