Konrad Becker on Fri, 4 Jul 1997 18:01:18 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> AAA conference paper

Space Travel By Any Means Necessary

Talk given at the AAA's Intergalactic Conference
@Public Netbase, Vienna, Earth June 21-22 1997

by Jason Skeet, Inner City AAA

I represent Inner City AAA, which is just one branch on the Association of
Autonomous Astronauts' world-wide network of local, community-based groups
dedicated to developing their own strategies for building spaceships. The
AAA is infact the world's only independent, community-based space program,
and what I want to suggest to you is that this Intergalactic Conference is
happening at a very important time for anyone in Austria interested in
these issues concerning space exploration. Very recently the Austrian Space
Agency publicly stated that they no longer support manned space flight; for
them it is not a viable option. So this means that anyone in Austria who
wishes to go into outer space has no choice but to create their own space

Now the organisers of this conference did invite representatives of
government-funded space groups to attend; we spoke to the European Space
Agency, to the Austrian Space Agency and even the United Nations Office for
Outer Space Affairs (who have their headquarters here in Vienna). None of
them were willing to send a representative, and even Franz Viehbock,
Austria's most famous state-sponsored astronaut, was unable to attend:
apparently he informed the conference organisers that he felt alarmed at
the AAA's open hostility towards NASA. Well, of course the AAA has never
tried to hide its hostility towards all government-funded space agencies,
but we are still prepared to debate publicly with them, and to open up
negotiations with them concerning how they intend to re-distribute their
resources to the Association of Autonomous Astronauts.

OK, so this Intergalactic Conference actually represents the convergence of
three very distinct elements within the AAA's independent space programmes;
that is, it is a recruitment drive, a media invasion, and a propaganda
effort. Infact, this conference demonstrates the practical application of
the AAA's desire to introduce non-deterministic methods to the construction
of spaceships. This is a point that I will return to later when I discuss
the complexities of three-sided thinking. John Eden, the AAA's current
Press Officer, will talk later about the AAA's various media invasion
techniques, so I want to concentrate for the moment on the propaganda
aspect to our space programmes.

One very important promotional ploy that the AAA has used is the promise of
sexual experimentation in zero gravity. Indeed, whilst all other existing
space programs refuse to conduct any research into sex in space, the AAA
has declared that we intend to openly explore the sexual possibilities of
zero gravity. Autonomous Astronauts have already designed several
experiments that they wish to conduct to test out our hypothesis that sex
in space will be even better than it is on planet earth. However, whilst we
will carry out these experiments, it is important to stress that the
improved quality of sex in space is not the only reason to build spaceships.

It seems that since the AAA was launched the idea of independent space
travel has gained a wider exposure in more mainstream channels. This is not
only the direct result of AAA propaganda, but also due to a process that,
following on from evolution theorist Rupert Sheldrake, I want to describe
as 'Morphic Resonance'. As our ideas filter out through society, and as
more people become exposed to the possibilities of space exploration, it
becomes easier for others to be affected as well, and this process cannot
be expressed in purely causal terms. We are already seeing our ideas
resonate in films, music and advertising and amongst people who know
nothing of our existence. This has helped to create a wider acceptance in
the possibility of non-governmental groups building spaceships, and the
idea that space exploration technology is going to get cheaper and more
widely available. However, the AAA is the world's only space programme that
makes technological issues secondary to our concern with what we will be
doing when we form autonomous communities in space. What interests us about
technology is how a specific technology can be used, and, of course, who
gets to use that technology.

Let's now return to this three-sided aspect to this Intergalactic
Conference. I want to suggest that this three-sidedness demonstrates the
introduction of non-deterministic methods to the construction of
spaceships, and shows how, at an organisational level, the AAA has embraced
the complexities of what I will call 'Three Body Dynamics'. Mathematicians
have long since realised that when they introduce three objects into an
environment where they can all affect each other in some way, then the
results of this cannot be predicted. Chaos theory has in part been
developed from this, and there will be another AAA speaker talking about
that in more detail. For the moment I just want to say that state-funded
space agencies have yet to absorb the full implications of this
uncertainty; indeed, the moment that they do realise that the universe is
subject to intense and random proliferations that are beyond human
cognition, these space agencies will conclude that the only course left
open to them is to realise their own extinction by promptly handing over
their resources to the AAA. So, whilst die-hard universalists will be
horrified at the idea that pure chance is as fundamental to space
exploration as a desire to escape from gravity, the AAA regards all this as
further support for our ability to move in several directions at once.

Now I shall move in another direction. When the AAA was launched on April
23rd 1995, we also began a Five Year Plan to establish by the year 2000 a
world-wide network of local, community-based AAA groups. This Five Year
Plan has now moved into a new phase which we have called the Dreamtime. The
Dreamtime refers to a collective process whereby Autonomous Astronauts
explore the possibilities that open up when they form autonomous
communities in space. And this Dreamtime also relates to the projects that
have been happening leading up to this conference. Behind you is a
spaceship that has been constructed with an interior entirely built and
designed by various groups of Viennese school children over the last two
weeks. This was a project organised by Public Netbase and the Kinder
Museum. And at Public Netbase this week we have had a project with a group
of teenagers who travelled to the future to take over the abandoned Russian
space station Mir. They made a report about their experiences on the space
station to send back home to their friends and family in the form of a
world wide web site, which you can look at on the terminals at the back

So all this connects with the AAA's Dreamtime. The Dreamtime asks, "What is
the point of going into space if all you do is replicate the same
conditions that prevail on planet earth?". You know, what is the point of,
for example, going to the moon if all you do when you get there is visit a

I want to conclude this short talk by picking up the propaganda thread
again. Since the collapse of the Cold War, government space programmes like
NASA have struggled desperately for a new identity. NASA no longer has the
Soviet enemy to compete with, and must dream up new excuses for itself,
like the life on Mars scam last August which was basically an attempt by
NASA to get the US Congress to give them more money. The Cold War space
race was nothing more than a two-sided football match played between
competing ideologies, and as such was designed to hide the social forces,
on both sides, that maintains the state, corporate and military monopoly of
space exploration. Today, we perceive a three-sided race between government
space agencies, emerging private enterprise space groups, and the
Association of Autonomous Astronauts. This contest is becoming a complex,
interactive and continuously evolving game of chance that both the
proponents of government space agencies and the free-market propagandists
are unable to even comprehend given their continuing attachment to binary
thought structures.

Meanwhile the AAA has been developing new trinary concepts, like our use of
three-sided football played amongst ourselves and designed to develop
essential shills in the art of deception. I don't want to say too much
about three-sided football because tomorrow we will be playing it as part
of a training day for Autonomous Astronauts, but I will say for now that
Intergalactic Conferences, like games of three-sided football, will be
organised throughout the AAA's Five Year Plan, in order to help map out how
our independent and community-based space programmes move and develop in
complex, contradictory and completely unpredictable ways.


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