Woven Satellite images 2004

 

Artist Statement


I have long been interested in the relationship between ‘nature’, and ‘constructed or designed nature’, as seen in traditional floral patterns, specifically ornate Rococo imagery with floral motives.


A similar tension exists in our current concern with the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual realities’. I have been working with patterns of ‘flowers and leaves’ on a computerized hand- jacquard loom in Montreal since 1998.


During the summer of 2004 I got a fast Internet connection and started looking at satellite images of the earth. Several web sites now allow us to view and download images that are collected by satellites.


Photos of the earth have been taken since the mid 60’s and were then highly classified. I am interested in the ways this new technology documents places on earth that no human, except astronauts, have ever seen. Through NASA and other websites, we can visit exotic places that most of us will never visit and we can observe natural events, such as fires, ice breaking up, storms and other weather disasters.


One place held my attention in particular, for its visual beauty and exotic sounding name, until I did more research.  Novaya Zemla, according to several sources, had been used by Russia as a Nuclear test sight; no wonder that satellites made many passes over this remote area…… These images initially reserved for highly classified audiences are now in our homes and living rooms and in 2008, have become completely common place.


Satellite images:

For more information go to the NASA website at Visible Earth

http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/

For more on the history of remote sensing: look at the “THE REMOTE SENSING TUTORIAL” written by Dr. Nicholas S M. Short at http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Front/overview.html


Titles

all handwoven Jacquard

20 x 30” 2004


#1 Thunder Storm over Swiss Alps, Feb. 1994


#2 Mackenzie River Plume, Canada, June 15, 1998 

#4 Novaya Zemla Archipelgo, Ural Mountains, Kazakhastan


#3 Active Fires Burning in Alaska, June 17, 2002


#9 Dust Storm in the Gobi Desert, china, 27/3/04


#6 Fires and Smoke across Alaska and Canada