From Techno-Hope to Vertigo-Trip:

An Airpocalypse seen From an Island

  • Inês Vieira Rodrigues (Author)


One of the smallest islands of the Azorean archipelago, Santa Maria, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, has been particularly noticed following the relatively recent news of the construction of a European Space Agency facility with the capacity to launch minisatellites from 2023 onwards. In this context, to imagine that ‘we can be astronauts’ launching from Santa Maria’s spaceport directs to the main purpose of this article: to engage with infrastructural space exploration materiality as an object of concern; through the lens of the techno-hope concept, here conceived as a successful apparatus behind the desire for a Spaceship Island. To reflect on Santa Maria as an example of a ‘shortened vision,’ what the overview suggests is that the political-technical imaginary envisaged for the island disguises the absence of a project for the actual inhabiting realm; thus, for life in the ‘terrestrial’ reality. Therefore, this article aspires to be an invitation for ‘being-in.’ In this direction, an apocalyptic scenario or, as an alternative, a vertigo-trip possibility, might come in the aftermath of the achievement of the political tool of techno-hope. Essentially, the techno-hope apparatus might emerge as an eventual revelation, evidencing the loss of terrestrial coordinates, or, rather, an utter detachment from the ground. In other words, this is an incitement to think beyond the end of the world seen from an island.


Techno-hope, spaceport, island, vertigo-trip, airpocalypse