Singularity #1 (Earthrise NASA image AS808-14-2383), 2020
About the artwork
Earthrise is the popular name given to NASA image AS808-14-2383, which in the public domain and is credited to astronaut William Anders/NASA, taken during the Apollo 8 mission, the first human-crewed space voyage to orbit the moon. The image was shot with a Hasselblad 500 EL camera on 70mm Kodak Ektachrome color film, at 1/250th of a sec at f11, from the window of the Apollo 8 capsule in lunar orbit on December 24th, 1968 at 16:00 UTC.
In a transcript of the moment leading up to the photograph being taken, Anders can be heard saying, “Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! There’s the Earth coming up. Wow, that’s pretty.” Enabling humankind to see a high-resolution image of the Earth in space for the first time, Earthrise is one of the most famous photographs in the history of photography, but more than that, it can be considered an epistemic event: one that changed the nature of thought (without changing the nature of the universe).
Antarctica can be seen on the upper left corner, and the African continent and the Namibian desert is visible along the lower meridian at the right. A wake-up call to first time viewers during the tumult of 1968, this widely circulating image reminds us that we live on a small, exquisitely beautiful planet, shielded from an incomprehensibly vast universe by an atmosphere barely more than 100 miles thick. Earthrise/NASA image AS808-14-2383 is credited by many as a visual distillation that launched the environmental movement and reframed an ecological consciousness. It has appeared on everything from postage stamps to the Whole Earth Catalog, and yet we still might learn its lessons. Fifty years since its first publication, Earthrise has become an artifact of an idealistic time whose ecological conservation strategies have been overlooked, or even abandoned with evident hostility by some. Collpasing the boundaries between science, technology, art and philosophy, it is the ultimate readymade for the age of human caused climate change and globalization. Earthrise is a direct provocation to revisit and rethink the way we live. A portion of profits will be donated to Earthjustice. (www.earthjustice.org)
About Rob Reynolds
Rob Reynolds is a Los Angeles-based artist. Working in painting, sculpture, sound and video, his projects seek to make the unseen visible, with a recent focus on ecology, human-caused climate change and perception. He has exhibited his artwork and public projects widely, with recent solo shows at LAXART and the Natural...More about Rob Reynolds
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