The Newton Initiative is a multi-layered project that starts with the fictional character of Thomas Jerome Newton created in 1963 by Walter Tevis in the book “The Man who Fell to Earth” which became a movie directed by Nicolas Roeg in 1976. Played by David Bowie, Newton is an alien who comes to Earth to gather supplies and return with them to his dying planet. He fails and remains on Earth for good. Creating a form of “uchronia”, the project supposes that Newton is real and that he’s been living among us for 30 years now. By creating elements of his biography through documents, photos, films, sounds, Newton does become real. The movie itself is then, a biopic, not a fiction. His whole life, his inventions, his work and deeds become part of the biographical part of the project while the artistic interpretation of his persona is materialized through paintings, drawings and sculptures. Like a modern day Candide, Newton reveals his thoughts on mankind through an extensive interview for Time magazine. Newton is a privileged witness of our World, our societies, our lives, our ways. His perspective is unique. The man from the stars becomes an oracle, caught between the human maze and his galactic longings, the above and the below, the human and the alien, a permanent visitor of our complexities, paradoxes and insanities, big or small. Newton is our mirror.
(The “TIME Interview” of T.J. Newton can be found in the “Words By Vidor” section.)