“I was once a child with a dream looking up to the stars. Now I’m an adult in a spaceship looking down to our beautiful Earth. To the next generation of dreamers: if we can do this, imagine what we can do.” – Richard Branson (2021)
Tech billionaires spend fortunes hurling themselves into space, playing in the skies with their mile high and beyond club, as they milk the resources of our “beautiful” earth.
Science-fictioning our relationship to the world today ‘No Escape’, by Thomson & Craighead, crashes into the billionaire vision hurtling it and its “stars” back to the ground, where eggs fry on bonnets and cars melt in the reflection of prismatic high rises.
“They dream of a new life in orbit; a new life on the moon; on asteroids, and on the dead planet of Mars. They dream of leaving their mistakes behind and starting again. They dream and dream and dream but there is no escape. Back at Ground Zero, we live with their mistakes ever more divided, a little warmer every year.” - Thomson & Craighead (2022)
Haunted by menacing shadows, the fictional landscapes of ‘No Escape’ explore the walled gardens of Social Media and flights of space fancy. Photographs and videos nod to the corporate fantasies of entering the Metaverse (see Walmart’s plans for a 3D virtual world); an immersive space escape for the masses.
‘No Escape’ will be the public launch of a ten-year long performative artwork measuring climate change through the consumption of whisky. Punch drunk on these fictional accounts of a world gone mad, Thomson & Craighead experiment in trying to see our world gone mad more clearly, and while clarity can bring hope there is still No Escape.