Failing Forward

by Marjolein Blom

In Failing Forward – a kaleidoscopic work of oddities – Marjolein Blom touches on the core of what connects art, science, and life: that all are uncertain exercises with uncertain results.
Fifty years ago, in an era popularly known as the Space Age, optimism about scientifc progress seemed endless. But, while techniques from the space industry found a way into our daily lives, science and the everyday world grew increasingly apart. Scientifc interpretations are complicated for non-experts to grasp, resulting in an exchange based on trust. This relationship has always been fragile but, in recent years, has become unstable, with scientifc facts often regarded as ‘opinions’. Ambiguity and unpredictability, however, are fundamental elements of the scientifc process. Could we see science as a metaphor for life itself? Just as surprising and unsure? A process of fall and rise?
In this project, Blom’s photographic work of major and minor mysteries from the everyday world is interwoven with images from the NASA archive, depicting scientists working on spacecraft models. While shifting between the enigmatic and the specifc, between the clear and the ambiguous, Failing Forward revolves around wonder, truth-fnding and the illusion of human control.