INSULAE (Of the Island)

Flying at drone height over digitally rendered waves, Nye Thompson’s video installation INSULAE [Of the Island] contemplates the impact of island geography on national identity in a perpetually looping virtual tour of the waters just off the British mainland. With the ocean as a metaphorical buffer between the UK and the rest of the world, we are taken on a lonely journey endlessly patrolling 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 beautified.

INSULAE v1 Installed at the Barbican Centre, London
INSULAE v1
Installed at the Barbican Centre, London
Photo credit: Geoff Titley

This installation was a joint commission between Lumen Art Projects, Sky Arts 50 and the Barbican Centre for their 2019 programme, ‘Life Rewired’. It is on display as part of the Barbican’s ‘Level G’ programme until May 2019.