Ben Evans James
Film Curator - Filmmaker



The Theory of Concentric Spheres (2018/9)

“I declare the earth is hollow and habitable within”
- Edmund Halley, 1692 (Halley’s Comet)

A belief in spirits and souls wandering within a hollow earth have existed ever since man first sought faith in celestial beings. Pre-eminent thinkers of their time, most notably Edmund Halley (Halley’s Comet) 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 15ft tall. No sooner had scientists speculated on the existence of a hollow earth did explorers begin to plot its discovery with theories developing of entry points in both the North and South Pole.

Hayley’s belief in a hollow earth was not one of fantasy but can be viewed within the context of the Scientific Revolution that unfolded in Europe from the 16th Century; a period that deemed myth and magic as fantasies to be rendered invalid. In his works, author Alan Moore has theorised that we may have been myopic in believing that the age of science that started around the time of Hayley would be the new normal. Moore defines the contemporary distribution of narratives across networked infrastructures as spells that populate through the electro-mystic device of the internet. These spells work by casting narratives across networks that change popular consciousness bringing fictions into reality.

Tracing forward to these contemporary constructions of myth and folklore, The Theory of Concentric Spheres explores truth-making through the reality-bending mechanics of the network. Where new forms of fact are constructed not through scientific reason or events that actually took place, but in how things are recorded and accessed through media. A para-reality where we experience fiction as fact.

Perhaps any world that can be changed through the waving of a wand and the casting of a spell isn’t actually that real in the first place?  A hollow Earth. You couldn’t make it up.


The Theory of Concentric Spheres explored a journey to the centre of hollow earth through a series of four film spheres: The Brink / Wide Open Poles / The Habitable Within / As Observed from Above.  Beginning life as a screening programme in Serbia before moving to an expanded exhibition format in the UK, The Theory of Concentric Spheres screened works by artists including Hito Steyerl, Ben Rivers, Oliver Laric and James Bridle. 
Exhibition Yan Tan Tether,
Huddersfield, UK (2019)

Exhibition South Kiosk,
London, UK (2019)

Screening Programme
The Museum of Contemporary Art,
Belgrade, Serbia
, (2018)

Artists: James Bridle, Maeve Brennan, Rosie Carr, Jayoon Choi, Dana Giurescu, Joey Holder, Tom Kobialka, Oliver Laric, Myles Painter, Naheed Raza, Abigail Reynolds, Ben Rivers, Hito Steyerl, Alan Warburton

Curated: Ben Evans James
Assisted: Dave Charlesworth &
Jake Biernat
Production Huddersfield:
Dave Charlesworth