Earlier, the spacewalkers spotted a screw floating by…

Earlier, the spacewalkers… was a text piece, that was exhibited at a group show of Rotterdam Artists in Residence at the former Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, in 2009. The whole text reads: Earlier, the spacewalkers spotted a screw floating by, but were too far away to catch it. “I have no idea where it came from,” Stefanyshyn-Piper told Mission Control. — and was taken from a news article, published on November 19th 2008, by several big newspapers.

The article had the somewhat comical headline: “Astronaut loses tool bag in space” and explains how an astronaut accidentally loses her tool bag during reparation work on a solar panel. A line in this article, which seems to be disconnected from the rest of the piece, mentions this peculiar remark made by the astronaut, about a screw floating by.

I liked the idea that up there, somewhere on the edge of our planet and outer space, between knowing and not-knowing, there is a screw floating around. Something is loose, broken; things happen that can’t be explained, which is nicely illustrated by the remark of the astronaut herself.

I took this line from the news article, the way I imagine one takes a screw out of an object (or out of somebody’s head), and placed it high-up on the entry wall of the exhibition space.