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Enjoy this free moving image installation at Science Gallery London, presented as part of 'The Overview Effect'.

2023, 15 minutes

Wed - Sat, 11am - 6pm
Science Gallery London Gallery 1
| Free entry

In 2019, artist Ruth Waters travelled to Japan to interview space psychologist Tomio Kinoshita and astronaut Naoko Yamazaki. Their discussions unveiled the disorienting nature of space, where astronauts grapple with a profound sense of lostness and anxiety amidst the cosmic darkness.

Yamazaki discussed how when looking out of the window of the International Space Station towards outer space, she became disoriented with no visual stimuli. Kinoshita, drew a contrast to the tangible objects grounding us on Earth: a simple glance at a chair provides instant recognition and situational awareness, a stark juxtaposition to the disorienting void of space.

In the artist's contemplation, the insights from Kinoshita and Yamazaki not only evoked existential wonder for the cosmos, but also sparked a probing inquiry into the perplexing experience of navigating our everyday lives. Objects, while providing a sense of orientation, possess a malleability that can both reassure and disconcert, urging us to question the narratives and illusions woven into the fabric of our existence.

Ruth Waters lives and works in London and is a curator, producer, and artist specialising in moving image installations. Her work explores the intersection of contemporary society with existential themes. Drawing inspiration from personal experiences and engaging in diverse conversations, Waters creates works that humorously navigate the complexities of the human experience within broader social and political contexts.

Swallow Up was made with generous support from ARCUS Project and features interviews with Astronaut Naoko Yamazaki and Space Psychologist Tomio Kinoshita.

The Overview Effect is the term given to the cognitive shift experienced by some astronauts when viewing the Earth from space. They report unexpected emotions, an overwhelming sense of beauty, and an increased feeling of connection to other people and the Earth as a whole. From February– May 2024, moving image works by artists Tang Han, Ruth Waters and Rachel Rose will explore ideas around our time on Earth, offering a shift in perspective through their depictions of the natural world.

Explore the other events presented as part of The Overview Effect.

Event details

Science Gallery London
Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9GU

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