A solo exhibition at East Quay Watchet 20.05.2023 - 03.09.2023.

This solo exhibition presents existing and newly commissioned work by artist Nye Thompson. In partnership with Lumen Art Projects, VERTIGO opens our eyes to the world of surveillance, satellites, and the new frontier that is space. It explores how humans interact with technological ecosystems and the complex ethical, political and cultural questions created by our ever-more-intertwined relationship with machines.

Thompson highlights how the technology and infrastructure we rely on day-to-day mean that humankind has a deep connection to machines. We are ever more reliant on a vast network of unseen satellites that orbit the Earth. We are also increasingly, and often unknowingly, affected by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Reflecting this, Thompson asks what it means to watch and be watched, as she flips the view from human to technological, allowing the audience to see the world from a perspective of ‘machine gaze’.

INSULAE [Of the Island] (2019-)

Gallery 1

INSULAE installed at East Quay. Image credit: Jesse Wild.

CU Soon (2023)

Gallery 2

Glitching waves pour silently down a monolithic screen, as the viewer flies drone-like over an AI-constructed simulation of the British coastal waters.

Constructed from disarmingly beautiful imagery, this hypnotic installation probes the claims to objectivity of the satellite mapping technologies that mediate our contemporary experience of the world. In exposing the manipulation and AI-injected strangeness within these environments, INSULAE reveals a representation of the world that is as heavily laden with social and political agendas as any image of landscape throughout art history. More about INSULAE

CU Soon installed at East Quay. Image credits: Jesse Wild and the artist.

Radio signals from satellites spill down screens. On small TVs these signals are decoded into images. A soundscape generated from the process fills the gallery.

'CU Soon' is a performance work for humans and satellites. A series of electronic ‘postcards’ encoded as radio signals were sent to satellites orbiting the planet. These messages travel out into space and return, scrambled, reassembled into something new. Each one of these responses sent by a satellite is a new unique image. The original postcards are transcoded and remade - transformed by the touch of the satellite and the noise and glitches acquired during the image’s epic journey into space and back. More about CU Soon

Nye discusses the exhibition and the ideas behind it