Naomi White

Traces of the Real

Outer space is often imagined as a desolate, timeless, unspoiled place. But the region around Earth is filled with thousands of pieces of human-built debris. Over 21,000 pieces of space trash are estimated to circle the planet.

Communication technologies define the 21rst century. We mine our planet for rare metals which changes the landscape, and then fashion systems of surveillance and control with them, changing not just the surface of the planet but our world.

Traces of the Real casts sculptures made from plastic waste as new celestial bodies in the universe by throwing or hoisting them into the air and photographing them against the night sky. Juxtaposing the trappings of consumerism with the natural world, against the vastness of the Universe, this work explores the human impact on our planet and its future.


“A photograph is not only an image ... an interpretation of the real, it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real, like a footprint or a death mask.”- Susan Sontag

Using Format