Sky in Ruins

video (animation), 2016.

Sky in Ruins

Sky in Ruins (di sotto in sù) is an illusionistic ceiling video projection that alludes to the tradition of Renaissance ceiling painting and its illusionistic depictions of limitless space with an architectural vanishing point on the ceiling. The vanishing point was vertically directly above, the gaze was directed di sotto in sù, “from below, upward,” to the illusory open skies.

The vanishing point in the Sky in Ruins project is in the blackness of the orbits along which satellites circle the Earth. The projection is a window into the nearby cosmos, where there is far more space trash than satellites. It is a ceiling illusion that provides a dystopian view of space in our vicinity. A series of close-ups of collisions between satellites and space trash is projected onto the space dumping ground opening up above us.

The 3-D animation is a homemade visual illusion. It is made with Blender open source software, with realistically fashioned models of satellites, and is accompanied by recordings of actual space sounds. The main purpose of the work, however, is not so much to portray a real situation in nearby space as it is to point out that the universe, despite its vastness, is not so unlimited that we could go on simply moving our bad habits from Earth out into space.

Project documentation: Beyond the Globe | 8th Triennial of Contemporary Art – U3, Museum of Contemporary Art (+MSUM), Ljubljana, Slovenia. Curated by: Boris Groys

Making-of and sketches