the zeppelin bend










critical context


research outcomes






































































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The Emperor of The Moon (2006)

2' 16

“The Emperor of The Moon” is the final sentence from the author Norman Mailer’s best selling book The Fight (1975). Through search engines a list of Norman Mailer’s

best-selling books was discovered and a narrative is created by using the titles of these books in the order they appear in the list.

The Executioners Song

  • The Fight
  • The Naked and The Dead
  • Why Are We At War?
  • An American Dream
  • Ancient Evenings
  • Oswalds Tale
  • Unholy Alliance
  • The Castle in The Forest
  • Harlots Ghost
  • The Spooky Art
  • The Deer Park
  • The Gospel According to The Son
  • Why Are We in Vietnam



This work originally stemmed from the archive page here


' Stansbie’s The Emperor of the Moon structures its story, a narrative of the beginning of a journey, around the titles of Mailer’s

bestsellers. By pairing this jigsaw of text with film footage of a water ferry approaching a cruise ship, the work references both its own

maritime origin and the motif of travel.'


Anna Parlane (2008) The Dis(order) of Things: The Work of Lisa Stansbie



The Emperor of The Moon (2006)

By Lisa Stansbie


The executioner’s song was playing on the radio as we left.  It was too stuffy to concentrate on the book and in my mind I replayed the fight scenes

from the previous night. The men had all lain there breathless, chests steadily rising until no more, surrounded by the naked and the dead I decided it

was time to leave. Why are we at war? A feeling of hopelessness washed over me along with a sense of distance.  My father had told me it was once referred

to as an American dream. In the ancient evenings it was different.  I remember times when Oswald’s tale wagged so frantically that it shook his body and we

would walk for hours through dimly lit streets in the meat-packing district. This of course was before the unholy alliance of the two states. Things were never

quiet after.  One place was left untouched and it became a shrine to nostalgia. They called it the castle in the forest, yet it was no more than a stone house,

decorated with greenery.  As a child I was told never to come to the castle as it was rumored there was a harlots ghost that walked down the corridors past

the spooky art that had been hung and forgotten. The castle now stood alone except for the company of the deer park. 


I went back to the book ’The gospel according to the son’ was the first section, but my heart was not in it.  We began to pull away and as the tilting rocked me, I

drifted off. I was awoken suddenly by a commotion.  Passengers were looking around, straining to see from the small windows.  The young girl next to me,

with a concerned look, asked ‘why are we in Vietnam?’











The Emperor of The Moon has been shown in the following material sites:

2007 AvPhD Symposium 14th September, Manchester Metropolitan University

2007 Athens Video Art Festival, 26th - 29th April

2007 The Zeppelinbend Exhibition (solo) 29th October - 9th November, Alsager Arts Centre, Manchester Metropolitan Univeristy

2007 Objects and Narratives Symposium 21st September, Loughborough University

2008 Purescreen: Hearsay, 10th September, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

2008 'Multiplicity' lecture and screening event , July 2008, Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, Singapore

2009 The Text Festival: Poetry Film, 30th April, Met Arts Centre, Bury (Review here)

2009 InCounter: Sound/Video/Text 29th November, Campbell Works, London


and the following online sites

2007 'Things That Move' ISSN 1751-4134

2007 selected for the rhizome Artbase an online archive of new media art (screenshot - login required for Artbase)

2009 Outcasting: Season 7 curated by Michael Cousin

2009 Hackamore Exhibition (solo) 12th March - 10th April, Window University of Auckland (with 'Hackamore' essay by Anna Parlane)


The Emperor of The Moon is also discussed and film stills included in the published essay Connecting the Unconnected by Lisa Stansbie in the 2009 book

Telling Stories: Countering Narrative in Art, Theory and Film edited by Jane Tomey and Gillian Whiteley, Cambridge Scholars Press. ISBN 10 - 1443805327