Floating in space – a response to ‘Mars is indeed a place”

I’ve just been re-reading Hondartza Fraga’s mesmerising blog essay ‘Mars is Indeed a Place’ and wanted to set up a recommendation link to it, but inspired by Hondartza’s piece I also wanted to add some images of space, exploration and floating which I’ve always found very potent and which her piece reminded me of.

So, here’s the link to Hondartza’s blog essay:


And specifically here is the ‘floating’ meditative video clip there that started off my chain of association:


Here are the images and sources that Hordartza’s work brought to mind.

First, a 1972 image from Nasa’s archive as digitised by photographer Michael Light (great name) in his 1999 book Full Moon.

There is a slideshow of 50 of Light’s book’s images at:


There is a haunting loneliness to nearly all of them. Space as big, dark. cold and…alien. Humans as small, frail and in awe. Bit like here:

And then I wanted to add this 1903 image of Shackleton’s stranded crew waving to their colleagues as they row off in search of rescue:

And finally (if anyone really wants to get deeply into the idea of floating in space):


The above is a trailer for First Orbit a real time reconstruction of Yuri Gagarin’s first human step into space. The full film is available to watch via free download at:


I’m not going to write anything further in this post. For once, I’d like to leave the images and sources to speak for themselves…

…well, maybe just one quotation:

“If there were no railway to overcome distances, my child would never have left his home town, and I should not need the telephone in order to hear his voice. If there were no sea travel, my friend would not have embarked on his voyage, and I should not need the telegraph service in order to allay my anxiety about him.” (32)

Sigmund Freud (2004 [1930]) Civilisation and its Discontents, Penguin: London


About lukebennett13
Reader & Course Leader, BSc Hons Real Estate, Sheffield Hallam University, UK. I TEACH: built environment law to construction, surveying, real estate and environmental management students. I RESEARCH: metal theft; urban exploration & recreational trespass; occupiers' perceptions of liability for their premises. I THINK: about the links between ideas, materialities and practices in the built environment. I WAS: an environmental lawyer working in commercial practice for 17 years before I joined academia in 2007. I EXPLAIN: the aims of my blogsite site here: https://lukebennett13.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/prosaic/ LINKS: Twitter: @lukebennett13; Archive: http://shu.academia.edu/lukebennett. EPITAPH: “He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glances.” James Joyce, Dubliners

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: