planetary overview


Format 1: 202 x 132 cm / 79.5 x 52 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Format 2: 102 x 67 cm / 40.2 x 26.3 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec, custom-made aluminium frame

One important outcome of advanced space exploration is the appearance of a planetary overview system. The overview effect of seeing and feeling the unity of Earth is a meta-experience that was previously only accessible for astronauts. Today´s dramatically growing Earth-observation technologies intensify this effect and make it accessible to all of us. Yet this new way of measuring and visualizing the globe carries a stern ecological warning. Space exploration visions are not just focused outwards into space, they include the Earth as well. The dawning of a planetary overview system might intensify awareness of the ecological damage our planet is currently suffering. Advances in satellite technology, computer algorithms and processing power are now enabling scientists to expand their orbital observation of glacier regions. The goal is to understand how quickly glaciers and ice sheets melt – and thus how fast oceans rise – as temperatures increase.

The work “planetary overview” highlights observation of glacier change from space. Satellite observation has revolutionised glaciology by creating new ways to map large terrestrial landscapes. It has enabled glacier inventories of entire countries to be taken, and underpinned our understanding of glacier recession and advance; it helps us to map glacier snow cover and mass balance as well as to track changes in ice sheet thickness and ice flow velocities; and has also allowed detailed changes in remote locations to be monitored. By using a camera positioned in space we can observe glacier behaviour on a much larger scale. “planetary overview” combines images taken from inside a crevasse in Iceland´s Brei∂amerkurjökull glacier with several satellite images taken of the same glacier from an orbital position high in space. The work combines a micro- and macro-perspective, the inside view of the fragile glacier with the extreme distance view from outer space.


Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

Design concept & coding: Matthias Hübner,
with support by Marco Land

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