Fake Moon

Intervention in night sky, 2008

Fake Moon was a perplexing apparition in the night sky of an English landscape. Its first manifestation was commissioned by Alice Sharp for the the Big Chill music festival in 2008. The ‘moon’ slowly rose behind the branches of the tree-lined horizon, an intense, diffuse ball of light that illuminated the sky, casting long shadows across the grass. At first, the apparition seems to be our familiar satellite, but its movement through the sky seems halting – the moon wobbling and jolting along its path.

Although the light was as bright, if not brighter, than the real moon it became clear that a rather deficient subterfuge was in process. The light, in fact, emanated from powerful film-making lights housed in a 3m diameter helium balloon. Over the course of 3 hours the apparition gradually moved through the sky – the carefully mapped out path mimicking the arc of a true celestial body as it moves across the heavens.

Later Fake Moon reappeared in Preston town centre over a weekend in 2010 (courtesy of the Harris Museum), and again in Bristol city centre over a weekend in 2013 (as part of the ‘In Between Time’ festival).

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