The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Grazia Toderi’s Alien Homeworlds

If you want to see where they come from, and you happen to live in Washington, DC, check out the exhibition called “Directions: Grazia Toderi” at the Hirshhorn Museum.

Grazia Toderi is an Italian artist who does massive video projections built from collages of cities at night. Fragments of these vast vistas of light fade in and out to create gradually shifting technological landscapes, complete with flying orbs that materialize and dematerialize, fragment and coalesce, ascend and descend. I saw the installations this weekend and was flabbergasted – it’s just the way I imagine it – the place where our machine visitors come from. It’s candy for the UFO-lover’s imagination.

Alien worlds are not precisely what the artist says her work represents – there is no mention of other planets or intelligences or our own technological future. According to the text accompanying her installations, she is trying to “visualize the infinite” and was originally inspired by watching the simulcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. But her two installations at the Hirshhorn, “Rossa Babele” and “Orbite Rosse,” uncannily matched several spectacular UFO dreams I have had over the years, and look just like what I am positive Stanley Kubrick was going for in the final, “Beyond the Infinite” sequence of 2001: an ultra-advanced, ultratechnological alien planetscape.

I spent a long time silently immersing myself in Toderi’s works this weekend and I plan to go back. If you’re in the DC area, by all means, check it out.



I am a science writer and armchair Fortean based in Washington, DC. Write to me at eric.wargo [at]

One Response to “Grazia Toderi’s Alien Homeworlds”

  • At first I don’t believe in UFO’s. I thought it was just some people’s fantasy. But when i saw a lot of video around the world, I started to believe in it. I guess we are not really alone in this universe.