TABOO - TRANSGRESSION - TRANSCENDENCE
in Art & Science
27-29 September 2023, Malta Society of Arts, Valletta
Cassiopeia is a femme identifying male astronaut who refers to herself as a ‘Science Spacegirl’. A beloved figure among her crew, she has an infectious positivity and an androgynous charm. Her deep connection with space exploration extends beyond the scientific, forging an emotional and multisensory bond with the universe around her.
During a mission to the exomoon named “Iphis”, which orbits the gas giant “Ptah”, Cassiopeia wears a unique Pleasure Space Suit. Initially designed for stress relief during prolonged space travels, Cassiopeia has modified this suit, integrating it with advanced biofeedback systems. This allows her to transform space research data into tangible stimulations, thus providing her with a unique sensual understanding of her environment.
However, as she touches the surface of Iphis, the crew witnesses a series of unusual beahviours, leading to heightened concern for her wellbeing. Seeking insights into the situation, they access her personal mission files. With “Epicure’s Garden” as the password — a reflection of Cassiopeia’s inner sanctuary and connection to pleasure and exploration—they unravel the mysteries of her deep and transformative communion with the exomoon.
The narrative, in essence, embodies the spirit of “Epicure’s Garden” – a sanctuary of sensory exploration and pleasure. Just as Epicure’s ancient garden was a space of philosophical discourse, contemplation, and joy, so does Cassiopeia find her own garden in the vastness of space.
Rudolf Arnold studied mathematics and physics at the University of Ulm and became a teacher at a vocational grammar school. Since 1980, he has conducted several media education projects. He was cofounder of Radio free FM, which got on air in 1995. In 1996, he produced an award-winning radio feature about ecstasy. Since 2006, he has been a successful Cosplayer. In the role of Hatsune Miku, a teenage virtual Japanese popstar, he was an essential part of the international performance Still Be Here. In 2013, he joined the smart fashion community. Since 2014, he has been an experimental musician. In 2016 and 2017, he won awards at Fashion Hack Day Berlin. 2018, he created a novel sensor with sex researcher Dr Nicole Prause. This sensor became the key component of a system for the sonification of sexual arousal and was presented at the 4th International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots. The PLAY ME system was also presented at the 4th interdisciplinary conference Taboo – Transgression – Transcendence and at the 1st Experimance Festival Saarbrucken. At the 7th International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, he presented his first thoughts about a Pleasure Spacesuit Prototype. Parts of this work and PLAY ME were included in a presentation during the Convergence - Seminar on technological and somatic perspectives on interdisciplinary artistic practices in 2023 at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. In July 2023, he became a member of SEADS (Space Ecologies Art and Design), a transdisciplinary and cross-cultural collective of artists, scientists, engineers and activists. During an art show at the Interdisciplinary Conference Taboo – Transgression – Transcendence in Art & Science 2023 in Malta, he presented the narrative audio Cosmic Caresse, which is based on his current fashion and research project, A Multisensory Pleasure Suit for Space Sexology and Earthly Delights.