The Theory of Concentric Spheres


I declare the earth is hollow and habitable within – Edmund Halley, 1692. 

The Theory of Concentric Spheres is an evolving programme of moving image works curated by South Kiosk, London exploring the concept of the hollow earth. 

A belief in spirits and souls wandering within a hollow earth beneath our feet has existed ever since man first sought faith in celestial beings. Pre-eminent thinkers of their time, including Edmund Halley, reasoned that the earth was made up of a series of concentric spheres within which a sun and life could be sustained; a lush paradise on the flip side of the earth able to nourish humans up to fifteen feet tall. No sooner had scientists speculated on the existence of a hollow earth did explorers begin to plot its discovery with theories of developing entry points in both the North and South Poles.

The Theory of Concentric Spheres has to date been presented in Belgrade, Amsterdam and London, slightly transforming with each manifestation. For its fourth rendition in Huddersfield as part of Yan Tan Tether, South Kiosk explored a journey to the centre of the hollow earth through a set of two permanently installed moving image spheres: The Surface and As Above, So Below. 

Works in The Surface explored the banality and administrative bloat that define conditions of labour within late-capitalism. The all consuming cognitive and emotional labour of an ‘always on’ culture which slowly drives us towards the brink – and our escape into an underground world. Works include Rosie Carr’s The Photocopier who fell in love with Me, Alan Warburton’s Psychometrics, and Myles Painter’s Desktop Drama. 

In As Above, So Below we descend into hollow earth with a search for a new, better life with Naheed Raza’s Frozen in Time – a feature length documentary film that deals with the age-old fantasy of individuals chasing eternal life through cryogenics — people who seek to evade nature’s ultimate finality. 

Accompanying the spheres is a large scale drawing by Jayoon Choi depicting the spirits and souls that inhabit a hollow earth beneath us. 

The Theory of Concentric Spheres is curated by Ben James, Dave Charlesworth and Jake Biernat of South Kiosk.

Left: Jayoon Choi (2019). Right: Alan Warburton, Psychometrics (2014) Installation view
Naheed Raza, Frozen in Time (2013) Installation view
Rosie Carr, The Photocopier who fell in love with Me (2016) Installation view
Myles Painter, Desktop Drama (2016) Installation view