There Are Worlds Out There They Never Told You About

Jackie Karuti 2016

There Are Worlds Out There They Never Told You About consists of two films exploring what it might mean to migrate or run away to worlds that exist in our imagination. The first is an animation of an uncertain hand-drawn landscape. It is populated by communications technologies, crows and mythical beings engaged in a choreographed series of transmission, reception, control, call and response. Another film shows a collection of handmade paper boats navigating turbulent shallow waters under which a map of the world sits. The boats are assisted – or disrupted – by a god-like, disembodied female hand.

Running through both works is an allusion to the legend of an underwater civilization, descended from slaves thrown overboard during the passage from Africa to the Americas. Its non-linear exploration hints at themes of migration, displacement, and the idea of home – both what that means and how it might be something that can only be recreated in the imagination. The project presents humanity as part of an interrelated system within imaginary, technical and actual realities, whilst suggesting that logical readings may be less effective than those that allow for speculation.

Furthermore, these works act as a reminder that we choose to ignore the power of imagination at our peril, underlining the fact that everything man-made was once imagined.

Courtesy of the artist and Circle Art Agency.


Two videos from an ongoing mixed-media series; Animated video with sound. 1.05 mins; water-filled plinth / video with sound, 3.41 mins


The New Observatory
June 2017 – October 2017 at FACT, Liverpool

About the Artist

Jackie Karuti is an artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her practice is largely experimental and employs the use of new media through drawings, video, installations and performance art. Her work is founded on ideas around knowledge…
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