Flying at drone height over digitally-rendered waves...

INSULAE (Of the Island)


Flying at drone height over digitally-rendered waves, Thompson's video installation INSULAE (Of the Island) contemplates the impact of island geography on national identity in the age of Brexit, through a perpetually looping virtual tour of the waters just off the British coastline. With the ocean as a metaphorical buffer between the UK and the rest of the world, the viewer is taken on an endless patrol of our watery borders.

Created using Google Earth – initially developed as a CIA global surveillance tool – this video is very much an artificial construct, like any historical narrative. Artefacts and glitches become incorporated into the visual narrative, fleeting moments frozen distorted and monumentalised, and the whole vision digitally filtered, enhanced and artificially beautified. The deeply emotive concept of the national border is re-framed as aesthetics through the distancing godgaze of the satellite imagery.

INSULAE is a 16:9 vertical video with no sound. As a single channel video installation it has a duration of 355m 51s and can be meaningfully encountered by an audience at any point within the cycle.

This work is available for touring. Please contact studio[at]

INSULAE installed at the Barbican Centre, 2019.

The Barbican Centre, ‘Life Rewired’ programme 2019.
INSULAE was a joint commission between Lumen Art Projects, Sky Arts 50 and the Barbican Centre.