20 FEBRUARY – 16 MARCH 2013
Norton’s latest body of work continues his uniquely devoted attention to science and technology. Interplanetary Society seeks to refocus our attention on the major scientific discoveries of the last hundred years and how they will ultimately shape the course of future world events. To illustrate this point the artist cites how 500 years ago Christopher Columbus struggled to seek funding for his prospective western passage to Asia, being refused and even ridiculed by all of Europe’s Royal Courts and powerful elites. It took the belated intervention of Queen Isabella of Spain to fund the trip which history knows led to the discovery and colonisation of the America’s and the Pacific, and at the time considerable wealth and power to Spain.
Norton urges us to apply this historical lesson to our contemporary circumstances and consider the potential that our leaders have overlooked our aspirations and visions beyond the earth: “fast forward another 500 years and how will our present time be viewed by history? Much that consumes us at present might not be the main game at all.”
For Interplanetary Society the artist has produced new works drawn from forgotten and unregarded book titles and book covers on rocket science, science fiction and pseudo-science from the 20th century’s Golden Age of Space exploration. He has used this material to develop his alternative propaganda for the future.
Norton has been exhibiting since the mid ‘90s in Australia as well as the UK, the USA and Europe. He is well know for his large scale performance / installations works such as the Camouflage Suit Experiment (Sutherland Shire 2006-07), the Tank Project (Sydney CBD, 2008), Mars Gravity Simulator (Performance Space, 2011) and Virtual Reality Simulator (Cockatoo Island, 2012). He has undertaken a number of residencies in Australia and overseas and in 2012 was artist in residence at both Artspace, Sydney and at Broken Hill Regional Gallery. His work is held in numerous private and institutional collections including Artbank, UNSW, Oxford University and the Griffith University.