A light sometimes seen hovering over marshy ground

2020 | Video with sound | 05:00

In the summer of 2019 the artist undertook a number of local night walks, inspired by amateur projects that track glow worm and firefly numbers and share knowledge, creative writing and sometimes poems in DIY journals. The UK Glow worm Survey began in 1990 but, as of yet, has no official status. Its only purpose is of information gathering, most of which is submitted by the general public and glow worm enthusiasts.


Fireflies have a complex visual and embodied language, the meaning of which is largely a mystery to us. In the video this Morse-code-like form of communication becomes entangled with human’s historical attempts at communicating with aliens. Many of the visual and audio sequences within the work are a combination of sound and energy patterns received from space, signals sent into space by humans, as well as flash patterns and movements stolen from different firefly and glow worm species.


The work weaves narratives of science fiction, anecdotal sightings of light from unexplained sources, historical attempts at extra-terrestrial contact, messages sent into and received from space, as well the artist’s own experiments in communication with non-humans encountered on various night walks.

Jo Pester © 2021