The Terranauten is a project of professional dancer Lisa Oettinghaus and freelance photographer Kay Strasser. They have developed a symbiotic project between dimensions of the creative worlds: text meets dance meets photography, creating something new. Terranauten explores spaces with gravity, and provides a relation between the act of flying, and the texture of the ground. This is what they capture in exciting photos that show what cannot be, taken without tricks, without any technical manipulations and without photomontage. The Terranauten have been betahaus members since last October.
What and who are the Terranauten?
Kay: Terranauten is an interdisciplinary project between dancing and photography. We met each other last autumn, Lisa performed in the backyard of betahaus, and I realised then that she is able to fly. That was the main idea of the whole project. I asked her to do a project about flying, she agreed and we started prototyping.
Lisa: We started like two freelancers, working from ODC. By coincidence, he saw me while I was doing a performance and took a really nice picture when I jumped. After the performance, he talked to me and asked me about working on a project where I was outside gravity. Afterwards, we made a project out of it and we have developed the technique for making me appear as though I was always flying. Nowadays, I appear higher off the ground than before – this is because over several months, we’ve developed our techniques, and also chosen the right surfaces, the right lighting, the right dress to wear, and other things.
What is your main aim with the Terranauten project?
Kay: First aim is to do more art and creative work in betahaus. The second aim is to have an interesting project to impress the people, and to show them that there are still things which are possible.
Lisa: …and to make people to look from another perspective, to touch them, and make something beautiful out of gravity, the power which is given by the earth.
Terranauten project is working with Startnext. Can you tell me more about your collaboration?
Kay: We were thinking about how to raise money for a whole project. We thought about cofounding at first. We found Startnext, and it was pure working together. We will be presenting at the Browse photo festival in June. Startnext also wanted to implement the idea of cofounding in the whole festival and combine that with photography.
Lisa: In the end, we wanted to do also an exhibition there and in betahaus, and with Startnext and cofounding, we were able to get more publicity. The project is still like an experiment – we don’t know where we’ll end up, but we do put a lot of time and effort into it, so we do need money in the end.
Lisa: We brainstormed in the beginning, and wrote a long list of surfaces where we want to jump – snow, ice, and so on – and then we got started. We keep challenging the idea of what would be possible.
Kay: We always keep our eyes open when looking for interesting locations.
You are based in Open design city, in betahaus. How does working in this space affect what you do?
Lisa: We get a lot of inspiration here at ODC. People help us with design, brainstorming and other details. The community is really nice, and they support us a lot, mentally and practically. We want to create a community that supports what we do, and is interested in it, and we found just that in betahaus.
Kay: It is our home and our community.
What are your future plans?
Lisa: With Startnext, we would like to organise a flashmob; the people will be the surface, and I will be jumping over them. So the aim is to get more challenges with it, and take more difficult pictures which seem even more impossible than the ones we’ve already done so far. We are also thinking of taking pictures at different locations in Berlin – we’re thinking of taking some at Alexanderplatz, which is one of the city’s best-known locations – and in other cities, and maybe even making a video.
Kay: I would like to ask you to please support us on Startnext (http://www.startnext.de/terranauten ) it is really important to us, because we need as many people to support us as possible. With that, we’ll be able to do further work and to develop ourselves. All kinds of support are welcome, and we will reward our supporters with photos, postcards, posters, and other gifts.