An illustrated booklet, exploring how digital technologies are intrinsic to the processes by which the Earth is imaged from an orbital vantage, and considering its implications for the environmental imaginary. Derived from a paper presented at the “Green Connections: Environmental Response and the Arts” conference held at the University of Exeter in September 2014.
This paper drew attention to the complex genealogy of these technologies within the domain of military imperatives to map and then gain control over the Earth’s surface, expressed often through the so-called “God’s Eye View”, which troubles any straightforward depiction, prevalent since the late 1960s, of the ‘Whole Earth’ as an ideal environmental icon – as the only suitable representation of nonhuman energies and materials: a discourse which appears to linger in contemporary discussions concerning the status of the Anthropocene.
This paper was converted into an illustrated booklet in August 2016, to mark fifty years since the first image of the ‘whole Earth’ from orbit was captured. To mark the subsequent fiftieth anniversary of the 1968 ‘Earth Rise’ image, taken on December 24th, this booklet was made available for download. While it has now been taken down, requests for copies can still be made by email.