terraMarks series · background

From Outer Space
The impetus for the collaborative "terraMarks series" started in 2006 while planning a family vacation on the Internet using Google Maps. Like many people, I am fascinated by images photographed from outer space, and while I was supposed to be locating routes and calculating mileage, I became increasingly distracted by the shapes and colors I saw in the satellite views of our destination points.

My work generally goes in very close - I have photographed everything from the bottom of common cooking pans (the "cooked series") to peeling paper posters in the subways of London (the "subtext series"). Google Maps, however, allows an experience of a relative "far" and "near": I know I am seeing the earth from a distance far above the surface, but I also experience a sense of intimacy with the earth's surface that moves beyond landscape and water and into mesmerizing shapes and patterns that take on a life of their own in the mind's eye.

The group of screen shots on the left shows the effects of choosing one starting point, then zooming in and moving around until the final view is chosen. Each step in the process is captured and framed incrementally moving toward the selected image.

This "terraMarks" series presents twelve of thousands of views from outer space to which I am continually drawn. These views were captured in 2007.

It will be interesting to compare the captured images with the images in Google Maps in a few years. The images will change over time because the Earth is constantly changing; some of it by human activity. For more about this, search the web for information on global warming.

I've spent many hours selecting and framing the images but cannot make prints available as they are the property of Google Maps, NASA and other partners. You are free to use these images for your personal use, but any thing more will require permission from Google and its partners. Of course, prints of my other work are available. The style is similar but the camera is much closer to the subject.

Note on the Smithsonian Institution Exhibit
After starting this project I found that the Smithsonian Institution and its partners have created an online and traveling exhibition entitled Earth from Space. The traveling exhibition itinerary is available here.