In an homage to influential images of Earth taken from outer space, this art installation takes it up a notch by livestreaming views of Earth in real-time, prompting us to contemplate the bigger picture.
When astronauts took the first colour photograph of Earth from the Moon's surface, the view of our gleaming, blue planet suspended in the vast, dark reaches of outer space no doubt prompted many to contemplate the preciousness and fragility of our homeworld. This profoundly moving image of Earthrise has rightly been called "the most influential environmental photograph ever taken" -- an iconic reminder of our dependence on this world -- this one blue jewel, and our responsibility to it.
In 1972, this was followed up by yet another incredible image called Blue Marble, taken by Apollo 17 astronauts. Now, we also have another version of these emblematic images, through Chilean designer and artist Sebastian Errazuriz's blu Marble, an inspiring, 20-foot-tall installation that features the livestreamed image of Earth. Watch:
Blu Marble is a reminder of our miraculously fragile existence. It places our very existence in perspective at a global level—as a tiny spec in space—beckoning us to live fully with an awareness and mindfulness of our limited time on this vulnerable and beautiful planet.
The installation consists of a custom-made projection screen that is lit up with LEDs, displaying captured real-time images of Earth as seen from a NASA satellite, sent back every 10 minutes. These images are then stitched together with software to create enthralling video sequences of the Earth, as seen right now, from space.
The idea here was to enhance existing satellite technology -- usually used for observing and collecting scientific data on the Earth's surface -- with a more meaningful and existential question about our place in the universe. What is the bigger picture? Why are we here?
It's vital that we ask these profound questions of ourselves and each other, and all the more important to discover our greater purpose on this world and in the universe. For those who are in the neighbourhood, Blu Marble is currently being on display at 159 Ludlow Street in New York City until April 14, 2019 -- after that, there will be a one-night showing in collaboration with the New Museum. To find out more information, visit Sebastian Errazuriz and Pledge World by Blu, and Instagram.