11/15 2018  |  by Matt Vagabond

“We choose to go to the moon […], we do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

― John F. Kennedy

Still from Le Voyage dans La Lune

Nearly 50 years ago, in July 1969, the Apollo 11 crew blasted off on a 4 day journey that delivered 2 humans for the first time to the Sea of Tranquility on the surface of our Moon. Driven through technological competition and won through communal effort humanity summited this pinnacle of science and technological achievement. This was the full realization of a fantastic voyage that has captured the human imagination for millennia. In Lucian’s True History, the first known work of science fiction written in 79 AD, travelers journey to the moon to witness a war between the kings of the Sun and the Moon. In another artistic first, Georges Méliès’ La Voyage de la Lune depicts the first flight to the moon in the iconic 1902 film. Though only 12 men have even set foot on the moon, Lunar colonization even captured the imagination of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. militaries, resulting in the abandoned Project Horizon and Zvezda Moonbase plans. Many governments worldwide have now signed The Outer Space Treaty, designating the Moon as the province of all mankind.


“Well, I feel that we should always put a little art into what we do. It’s better that way.”
― Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon


Aubrey Beardsley illustration for Lucian’s True History

The moon has always focused our creative attention, figuring heavily in mythologies and traditions around the world. It’s often connected to our collective subconsciousness, magic(k)al abilities, and the tidal cycles of our individual emotions and social rhythms. Worldwide, the moon is ubiquitous in esoteric traditions as well, most visibly to us in the west in astrology, tarot, and alchemy. In Shakespear’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the moon is a powerful symbol that speaks to each character individually, it’s intoxicating power causing dreamy and bizarre behavior.

The Burning Man culture has always used pranks and satire to critique the default world, a sort of fun-house mirror in which to examine society. Similarly, stories about travel to the Moon have often served as an opportunity to “look down” on Earth as satire and speculation about the present and future of our society, even being the focus of pranks like The Great Moon Hoax which claimed to describe the inhabitants of the moon in several newspaper articles in 1835. Conspiracy theories still circulate about a faked moon landing after the realistic depiction of a lunar colony in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddessy.

Element 11 has always been an event that brings together these elements of adventure, innovation, communal effort, imagination, and magic. It’s time to travel to our own temporary city on the moon and to bring to life all it’s otherworldly inhabitants and experiences. Grab your team and plan your launch, and we’ll see you in the lunar dust June 20-23!

“And the sun and the moon sometimes argue over who will tuck me in at night. If you think I am having more fun than anyone on this planet, you are absolutely correct.”
― Hafiz




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