Otolith 1

A woman sleeping whilst floating.
Otolith Group & Richard Couzins, MIR, Otolith1, 2003

22’ 20 digital video by the Otolith Group, commissioned through the MIR programme

Microgravity’s reorientation of the relations of humans to space, perception to coordination and vision to motor activity implies the reconfiguration of the coordinates of visual language. The essay film Otolith is narrated by a paleoanthropologist born and raised off-world in an agravic future; a woman at home in zero g. Unable, like all future humans, to return to Earth, she has devoted a decade to retrieving, restoring and researching archives of pre-adaptive hominization. By framing the documentary image in terms of scenarios for the future of space habitation, Otolith readjusts the present until it takes on the temporality of the historical ruin.

The film traces a line between generations of female exploration, centering the story around a meeting in the 1970s between Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova and the anthropologist’s ancestor Anasuya Gyan Chand, President of the National Federation of Indian Women. The narrator recounts the journey of her recent ancestor, Anjalika Sagar, who visits Star City in 2003 to research this historic meeting. Anjalika’s investigations compel her to complete a program of quotidian actions during a parabolic flight that seek to test the adaptation of humans to zero gravity. In Otolith, microgravity is presented as a dangerous interior that locates itself between a non-aligned past, a pressurised present and a mutant future.


Written, directed and edited by the Otolith Group - Kodwo Eshun, Richard Couzins and Anjalika Sagar.

Commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and the MIR Consortium (Arts Catalyst, Projekt Atol, V2, Leonardo Olats, Multimedia Complex for Actual Arts)

Flight: MIR Campaign 2003

Screenings & Exhibition

2006 IFC Centre, New York

2006 Tate Triennial - New British Art - Tate Britain

2005 Critical Art Ensemble benefit & 10th anniversary of the Association of Autonomous Astronauts. Festival Avril. Confluences, Paris France.

2004 City Of Women, Past Transition, Welcome to the Future, 10th International Festival of Women, Ljubljana

2004 Resonance FM, Frieze Art Fair, London, UK

2004 Our House is a House That Moves Curator -Natasa Petresin

Skuc Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Pavel House Gallery, Steirischer Herbs, Graz, Austria

2004 Luggage, Curator - Gabrielle Schleijpen, Nanjing Art Institute, Nanjing.

2004 Art & War Show, Curator - Mamta Murthy, World Social Forum, Mumbai.

2004 Critical Art Ensemble Defence Benefit (ArtsAdmin/Arts Catalyst), Toynbee Hall, London

2004 Open Sources Encounter Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-arts, Tours, France

2004 LIFT Enquiry, London International Festival of Theatre.

2004 A Free State Conference. The British Museum, London, UK

2004 Beyond Belief, Reading Utopia. Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

2004 Fly Utopia. transmediale, Berlin, Germany

2003 Everything Normal, Arts Catalyst, London, UK

2003 MIR -Art In Variable Gravity, Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK. Curator - Nicola Triscott

2003 Festival of Art Outsiders, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France.

2003 MIR- Microgravity Interdisciplinary Research. V2 -The Institute for Unstable Media Rotterdam, The Netherlands