GAIA, Luke Jerram

Photo credits:
Gaia at Bluedot, UK, 2018

  • Location: Largo Anjos Teixeira, Volta do Duche

Luke Jerram shows at Aura Festival a sphere with seven meters in diameter that reproduces a satellite image (NASA) of the Earth's surface, with a definition of 120 dpi-a unique opportunity to see the globe and the 3 dimensions, 1.8 million of times smaller than the Earth. In the year of celebrating the 50 years of the arrival to the Moon, this installation calls the Overview Effect described by Frank White in 1987, the purpose of the first vision of the Earth through the eyes of American astronauts when, in the year 1968, exactly 75 hours, 48 minutes and 41 seconds UNDOS after Apollo 8 have taken off Cape Canaveral (USA), the Earth could for the first time be observed from space. The experience sparked a deep commotion. The globe seemed isolated, a small island of life suspended in space. The images of the Earth's surface show the planet as an ecosystem is one and indivisible, in the sense of belonging and interdependency between the constituent systems of life on the planet, renew the human responsibility and the increasing concern at environmental issues.

This work was created in partnership with scientific institutions Natural English Environment Research Council (NERC), Bluedot and The Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC). The soundscape is the responsibility of the artist Dan Jones, a BAFTA-winning composer.


Gaia. Photo of Luke Jerram by National Environment Research Council (NERC) b&w


Luke Jerram's multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in Bristol, UK but working internationally, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects over the last 21 years which have excited and inspired people around the globe. 

Jerram’s ongoing research of perception is fuelled by the fact that he is colour-blind. He studies the qualities of space and perception in extreme locations, from the freezing forests of Lapland to the sand dunes of the Sahara desert. New ways of seeing and new artworks emerge from these research field trips. Works such as 'Retinal Memory Volume', Sky Orchestra and his Glass Microbiology series have emerged from Jerram exploring the edges of perception. Published by The Watershed, 'Art in Mind' is a book written by Jerram that tracks much of his perceptual research.