Commissioned by The Lowry for WEEK 53
A giant ‘wall’ of unknown origin has appeared on Mars. Nye Thompson’s new work /artefact is an immersive video installation that takes the viewer on a hypnotic visual journey along this newly-exposed structure and the surrounding Martian landscape.
In an age of proliferating border walls /artefact explores the symbolic act of wall building – the awkward mapping of political power onto an indifferent geography. The work blurs the boundaries between the ‘objectivity’ of satellite imagery and the imaginative readings of conspiracy theory,
Mars is the first planet that we have developed a relationship with that is not experienced from a human perspective. Instead it is mediated through the god-like vertical gaze of satellite imagery. This ‘godgaze’ inspires megalomaniac dreams; turning geography into aesthetics, the visible world into data and potential mineral claims. Currently protected by a fragile international treaty, the real power struggles and land claims of Mars are yet to be played out.
About Nye Thompson
Nye Thompson (UK) is an artist turned software designer turned artist. She creates data-generating artist software systems to explore new technology paradigms, and has a particular interest in the machinic gaze and its underlying power dynamics.