In its evolutionary path, humanity has always been characterized by the desire for knowledge. This desire, this curiosity, this drive has undoubtedly been one of the main engines of progress.
Humanity has an irresistible attraction towards the unknown, a surprising mix of fear and the will to overcome. The night represents the unknown closest to us. The night is a time that brings us back to ourselves, as we really are; it is a time in which we reflect on our fragility, but it is also the moment in which we confront the limit, with the infinite, with elsewhere. A time in which our ancestral nomadic spirit wakes up and pushes us to travel, to overcome that limit, to see what lies beyond that dark and unknown horizon.
And consequently leaving, traveling, challenging the unknown and one’s limits is the means we have to reach and explore new destinations, wishing to face new challenges and discover new worlds …
Space travels currently represents the greatest aspiration for our nomadic spirit because they allow us to question ourselves about the place we occupy in the universe and the presence of life beyond the Earth. Humanity has been working in this direction for quite a while. In 1957, the Soviet Union took the first step into space by launching Sputnik. The first man to make an orbital flight around the Earth was a Russian astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, in 1961. Since then, more than 500 astronauts have traveled to space. Unmanned sondes have been sent to all planets in the solar system and to numerous satellites, asteroids and comets. The International Space Station (ISS) represents the first fundamental step towards long-range exploration. The discovery of life beyond Earth may be the most fascinating discovery of all time. In our galaxy there are at least one hundred billion stars and perhaps there are as many galaxies scattered throughout the universe.
Robert A. Heinlein in the short story Threat from Earth (1957) first advanced the hypothesis of a future where space travel would be used as a form of tourism, with its own industry and specially developed facilities. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 film gave new impetus to the dream of space travel. In the film, the protagonists arrived at an orbital station on the Orion III. In 1990, the Tokyo Broadcasting System paid the Russian government a sum of $ 28 million to send Toyohiro Akiyama to the Mir where he spent a week in orbit, conducting a daily broadcast for Japanese TV. Akiyama was the first commercial traveler in the history of space travel, but he cannot be considered a tourist as the trip was at the expense of the company he worked for and to carry out his work even if he were a few hundred thousand kilometers from the Earth. The first space tourist was Dennis Tito, a US businessman who, paying $ 20 million, spent seven days in the International Space Station (ISS).
In 2022, an entirely private crew will travel in space to the International Space Station. The unprecedented expedition will be organized by the startup Axiom Space in collaboration with SpaceX, Elon Musk’s aerospace company. This sort of space vacation will cost $ 55 million per person.
Once the topic of space tourism has been introduced, we can talk about my space travel that allowed me to photograph the UFOs: Unidentified Flowers Outfits that visually accompany this article. It all began in 1991 when teleportation was introduced in the Star Trek Enterprise series to transport objects and people from one place to another without the need for physical transport. A specialized team analyzed the person to be transferred, creating a “map”; they then proceeded to dematerialization which was saved in a teleportation “buffer”; this buffer was transmitted to the point of arrival where the energy was reassembled in the matter. In 2016, a scientist from the University of Bristol together with one from the University of Denmark made quantum teleportation between two chips a reality, sending information from one to the other without any physical connection between the two.
My teleported trip
… and in 2021, with the promise of visiting a fantasy world where the inhabitants were flowers that “dressed up” in an extravagant way to celebrate the arrival of the Humans, I decided to volunteer for the first human teleportation experiment promoted by Whakakino University of Tongatapu. I put only one condition: to bring my camera with me. They accepted. So, on June 1st, 2021, after giving negative to the COVID 19 molecular test, I underwent the teleported journey to UFO, the planet of extravagantly dressed flowers, also known as Kakahu Putiputi Kore and Mohiotia.
The only thing I remember of the departure was a very pleasant sensation of sublimation during which I perceived the physical pleasure of getting away from the “earthly”, from the human stunt, from the pain and from the social rules. Upon arrival on UFO, I had the sensation of a plasma transformation: I did not perceive myself with a defined shape and volume; my being took on different forms according to the sensations I felt. I was as if I had been ionized and I was moving like the Northern Lights move across the sky. I had my camera with me, also with the consistency of a plasma but it seemed to me that it worked. My stay on UFO (which in retrospect was measured in 15 minutes) allowed me to attend a floral party in which I could see, know and photograph various groups of flowers dressed up for the party that were ready to be photographed with a touch of mischief and a pinch of arrogance.
The first flower I met said he wore a tailcoat; he presented himself as a “ko’k narcissus”. He had elegant, sinuous shapes that led the eye to the three electric blue flowers and three buds that were about to open. Then it was the turn of a magnificent couple of “kardvirágok” in evening dresses, he in electric blue and she in a strong pink with orange shades. A truly fascinating couple. Then came the surprise of a strange couple made up of a “sarimsoq gul” in the shape of a small globe and an “ehtiros guli” in the shape of an erotic star; they wore a splendid cocktail dress that gave a glimpse of the most intimate parts of their bodies. What about the family of yellow “nárcisz” accompanied by young maidens of “papatyalar” in chemisier. They advanced dancing and when the maidens disappeared the “nárcisz” mingled with blue “moychechaklar”, creating a plastic picture worthy of the best Caravaggio.
The stay in UFO seemed very long to me because it exercised the same attraction on me that the nymph Calypso had on Ulysses. I was torn between staying and leaving but, when I understood that the teleportation machine would soon disappear, I panicked for the unknown and nostalgia for the known and the plasma ego decided to return, undergoing the teleportation. Of the return, or better said, of the re-materialization on the Earth, I remember a profound discomfort, a sense of depression, but at the same time a welcoming feeling of “home”. When I regained consciousness, like a space Ulysses, I didn’t understand where I was, but by reviewing my home, my country, my familiar faces and proving that even my camera had rematerialized with me, I lit up with happiness … but like Ulysses, I did not take long to understand that when we return, nothing is the same as before. Everything has changed!
I have not yet finished developing all the photos because some have been ruined by the still present problems in the teleportation process (who knows, me too I have been affected by these “little” problems even if I do not notice it …. who knows you readers yes, You have noticed it!!! … the pictures that I have already been able to develop you can see here!
I am a curious of life with idealistic tendencies and a fighter. I am a passionate photographer who had to develop a strong degree of resilience to keep my passion against the current of life. I believe that shadows are the necessary contrast to enhance the light. I am a lover of nature, silence and landscapes (rural and urban). My photographic history is quite silent publicly but very rich personally, studded with some great satisfactions such as: published photographer in 1X; honorable mention in Pollux Award 2019; commended in IGPOTY 2019 B&W section; highly commended in IGPOTY 2018 Abstract section; selected in 2014 for Descubrimientos PhotoEspaña and in VIPHOTO. Group exhibitions in: Atlántica Colectivas FotoNoviembre 2015 and 2013; selected for the Popular Participation section GetxoPhoto 2020 and 2015; ”PhotoVernissage (San Petersburgo) 2012; DeARTE 2012 y 2013. A set of my images belongs to the funds of Tecnalia company in Bilbao, to the collection of the "Isla de Tenerife" Photography Center and to the EspacioRAW collection in Madrid. [Website]