Monday, July 25, 2005


As part of the Day-to-Day Data exhibition which presents several "artists who collect, list, database and absurdly analyse the data of everyday life" (curated by Ellie Harrison), Jem Finer's On Earth as in Heaven recreates the map of heaven - on earth. The idea is to localize the names of the stars that compose the main star constallations. The names can refer to places, but also objects, people, erotic drawings.
I imagined initially that all the stars would have streets or towns named after them (or themselves be named after terrestrial locations), but this was far from the case. Using Google as a research tool I found that star names were more often than not the name of an object, a document, a person, something transient at a specific time and place…
Using Google as a research tool? This is our world, this is our geography. This is the universe. Of course, I would probably have done the same thing (then again, I might have taken the trouble to check somewhere else, you never know). But it's strange, the way we seem to combine the conviction that we live in a global village with, indeed, a village mentality.
But the work is nice, and the online version quite appreciated by this village person.

Ps.: Jem Finer is also the author of the longest music piece in history: longplayer, which is to play uninterruptedly for a thousand years (it began on January, 1, 2000). You can listen to it (streamed) here.

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