Art Meets Science—How Satellites See Our Planet

Thu 8 September - Mon 12 September 2016, 10AM-7:30PM
Credit: Colorful Naukluft Photocredit: ESA

Throughout history, our world has been depicted through art. From prehistoric cave paintings to the canvases of the Renaissance masters, we have continually documented our environment and its Beauty. As our means of exploration evolved, our perspective also changed. While visual art forms developed—from the works of Leonardo da Vinci to contemporary, abstract works—so did the awareness of our surroundings through science. The need to produce new representations of this new knowledge of our world still exists. Satellites act as an information source and give us the ultimate perspective. But the images these satellites provide not only serve a scientific purpose, they also provide an aesthetically pleasing view.
Taking an 800-km step back enables us to appreciate the “big picture” of our planet, how it is changing over time and humankind’s impact. And like any work of fine art, we must handle it with care. The Hyperwall presented at Ars Electronica 2016 by the European Space Agency gives us the chance to view Earth as seen from space—interactive and at your fingertips.