30 Km

Simon Faithfull - 30 Km

  • 2003
  • Video transfer to DVD (duration 32 minutes)
  • Not currently on display
  • Location: Flight, third floor of the Science Museum

Climate Changing Stories is a series of interventions that reveals hidden stories behind some of the Museum’s best-loved exhibits, as well as showcasing artworks from established and emerging artists. It takes a long view of our climate changing world, offering a fresh take on historic inventions and everyday objects, and their impact on the world around us.

Artist Simon Faithfull’s film 30 Km begins with a close-up of his face. He’s about to release a home-made device – a video camera attached to a weather balloon – on a journey 30 kilometres up into the atmosphere. He wants to alter our perspective of the world as our view shifts from micro to macro, local to global.

At first our focus is on the familiar details of the landscape. As we ascend, the details disappear and we see a river empty into the sea. Our perspective dramatically shifts once more as we see the brilliant yellow glow of the Sun reflected on the water, locating us and Earth as bodies floating in the Solar System.

30 Km reflects the artist’s inquisitiveness to understand our planet, and our place within it. With the final few beeps before the radio transmitter signal is lost, we are left with the striking view of the curvature of the Earth enveloping the delicate systems of our planet below.

Loan from Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London.

Commissioned by the Film and Video Umbrella.

About the artist

British artist Simon Faithfull lives in Berlin and London. His drawings, videos and installations have been in numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions. Faithfull’s video works can be found in the Arts Council Collection, The Government Art Collection and the V22 collection. In 2004/5 Faithfull made a two-month journey to Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey having been selected by Arts Council for their International Fellowships. In 1996 Faithfull made the part-animated Isle of Dogs short film for the BBC’s 10×10 series.

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