by Nora al Badri
by Nora al Badri
On this remixed digital clay tablet known as the “Babylonian Map of the World“ one can see that the earth was described to be a disc with Babylon at its center. But then it is a little easy to discard the author and their culture as “primitive“. We don’t really know how mythology and reality were lived at that time. Plus there was no geocentrism within Mesopotamian cosmology: not the Earth was the center of the universe like Aristotle tried to establish in „On the Heavens“.
Our contemporary myth-making of the „dark past“ where many people supposedly believed the earth to be a disc is kind of not true (just makes us feel better and more enlightened). There was a lot of evidence ever since ancient Egypt with Herodotus, Indian astrology, or Mediterranean thought, and everybody after that. In fact, since then the majority of scholars have believed in the concept of the spherical world.
The digital artefact now comes with instructions to materialize as a 3D print that addresses the denial of the existence of gravity by todays’ Flat-Earthers.
The original artefact was looted from Iraq and is since then kept in the British Museum. Artist Nora Al-Badri sees the money gathered through the NFT sale as a form of monetary reparation.
Nora Al-Badri is a multi-disciplinary and conceptual media artist with a German-Iraqi background. Her works are research-based as well as paradisciplinary and as much post-colonial as post-digital. She lives and works in Berlin. She graduated in political sciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main and was the first artist-in-residence at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) and its Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+) in 2020. Her practice focuses on the politics and the emancipatory potential of new technologies such as machine intelligence or data sculpting, non-human agency and transcendence. Al-Badri’s artistic material is a speculative archaeology from fossils to artefacts or performative interventions in museums and other public spaces, that respond to the inherent power structures.
Her work was featured at The New York Times, BBC, The Times, Artnet, Wired, Le Monde Afrique, Financial Times, Arte TV, The Independent, New Statesmen, Hyperallergic, Smithsonian, Al Ahram, Egypt Today, Vice, Hürriyet, Dezeen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Spiegel Online, Heise, The Boston Globe, Dezeen, Archdaily, Polska, La informacion, De Volkskrant, Gizmodo, New Scientist, Popular Science and The Verge amongst others.