outer space | Ayesha Hameed


Dates: September 2005
Length : 8 weeks
Format: interactive website

Studio XX was proud to welcome Ayesha Hameed in its thematic residency program on Science fiction – or the reinvention of our time and space.

outer space is a web-based project that look at the parallels between tropes in science fiction and the fantasies of colonial expansion. What unites science fiction and the colonial-metropolitan imaginary, is a changed conception of distance or ‘outer’ space. The fascination for outer space that is found in science fiction has its counterpart in the dependence of the average metropolitan dweller in the 18th century who consumes sugar and spices from the still unknown ‘New World’ and the ‘primitive’ East. Distance in the outer space of the mysterious New World and ‘Orient’ is ingrained into the daily life of the metropolis, fuelling a fascination with the world outside.

outer space is a site with 3 windows. Two of them are flash/html based hypertextual sites that look at (1) outer space and colonialism and (2) outer space and science fiction. These are two separate hypertextual narratives using images, text, moving images and simple vector animation. The third window use php for the user to combine these elements and form connections of their own.

Ayesha Hameed is doing a PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University where she writes about new media and history and makes hypertext work on the history of trans-Atlantic slavery. Her academic work has appeared in Fuse Magazine, and two of her collaborative projects are forthcoming in West Coast Line and Public.