Blue Marble
Video Installation, duration 4’40’’, 2014

Blue Marble is a video work commissioned by ASTRON, the Dutch research center for Radio Astronomy. The work was presented during the official reopening ceremony of the Dwingeloo radio telescope, on 5 April 2014.

For this video, the original Blue Marble image was sent to the Moon as radio waves by a station in Italy and received as reflection by the Dwingeloo radio telescope in the Netherlands. The process was repeated eleven times, until the original image started fading away into entropy. The Blue Marble is a photograph of the Earth, taken on 7 December 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft and it is one of the most widely distributed photos. The Blue Marble picture is part of a series of images of the Earth seen from space that helped changing the perception of our planet.

According to space philosopher Frank White, author of The Overview Effect, nearly all astronauts and cosmonauts who have experienced seeing the Earth from outer space report a lasting awareness of the planetary interconnectivity of environmental, political and social events. Astronaut Gerald Carr once said, “Most of us come back with an interest in ecology…you came back feeling a little more humanitarian”.

“I’m sure this is a commonly related thing”, said Mark Garneau, “…you become more of a global citizen.” Edgar Mitchell sums it up as, “We went to the moon as technicians. We returned as humanitarians”.