Searthing is searching or surfing the Earth with Google Earth. Ever since the invention of the virtual globe people have been searthing for the rarest and most amazing of images from all over the Earth. These images are actually satellite imagery, remote sensing, aerial photography and combinations thereof. Only in the past decade has technology made it possible to scour the Earth in this way and see things we would otherwise never see.
Searthing really began the first time someone laid eyes on satellite imagery of Earth. It didn’t take long to realize that there was some incredible scenery that had been captured from years of satellite imaging. This was in the days before 3 dimensional interactive Globes and was restricted to sifting through raw data. The best example of this concept in it’s early days is when ‘The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), commemorated the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) with an exhibition titled “The Earth as Art.” ERTS was the first satellite launched by the United States whose specific purpose was to record imagery of the earth’s surface. The exhibit features 30″ x 30″ high-resolution prints of images from LANDSAT 7, the current successor to the original ERTS platform. Each of the 41 images were selected for its artistic appeal rather than for its scientific significance. Some of the landmarks featured in “The Earth as Art” are the Ganges River Delta, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the irrigated farms of Garden City, Kan., and the Everglades.’ – loc
Much has evolved since then allowing virtually anyone access to a virtual globe like Google Earth. The imagery chosen for Google Earth is a fraction of the satellite data that exists and goes through many processes before it reaches our eyes. These conditions and processes are some of the things that make this “art” unique. The final stage of the imagery we end up seeing is a child of technological happenstance. Adding to the vastness and obscurity of this art is the fact that the data on Google Earth is updated regularly and the older images are then stored in an accessible “historic” volume. There’s plenty to see and discover.
There are some distinct qualities about this current evolved style of Searth Art. This particular style of navigating the planet focuses on discovering the obscure imagery hidden within the tapestry of Earth or the ‘art within the art’. Right away you discover that the art found within this fabric is often in the threads. Searthing is the idea of diving into the imagery to find scenes deep within the scene itself. There is an entire art microcosm hidden inside this raw satellite data. One of the many attractions to this art is that the imagery is constantly being updated and so always evolving. You have to “get it while the gettin’ is good” as they say because some of these scenes don’t hang around long, nor are they guaranteed to be chosen for the historic imagery (in Google Earth) to be accessed later! This art is extremely time sensitive from a Searther’s standpoint. These images are like needles in a digital Earth-sized haystack and would otherwise never be seen by most. They are as amazing as the technology that makes them possible. It’s highly therapeutic and addictive as well. So be warned!
The eye, or mind, really has to be trained to look at this type of “art”. It’s easy to take for granted the uniqueness and rarity of these images. The random set of circumstances and variables responsible for most of these optical anomalies is staggering! The organic nature of the images and flowing abstract beauty is easily assimilated by the mind as ambiguous information, but to learn where and what these aesthetics really are brings a whole new level of satisfaction to seeing this “art”.
Since we’re on the subject of “seeing this art” …this art in particular is best viewed about 3 feet from the screen to experience the full richness of color, contrast and depth. This is essentially digital impressionism… i.e. the pixels are like tiny dabs of paint and at the correct distance the light and color begin to do their thing. It’s easy to take this art for granted.
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics, and even disciplines such as history and psychology analyze its relationship with humans and generations.
Traditionally, the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery. This conception changed during the Romantic period, when art came to be seen as “a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science”. Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.
Britannica Online defines art as “the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.” By this definition of the word, artistic works have existed for almost as long as humankind: from early pre-historic art to contemporary art; however, some theories restrict the concept to modern Western societies. The first and broadest sense of art is the one that has remained closest to the older Latin meaning, which roughly translates to “skill” or “craft.”
- Searth1 on Flying Cloud Fish
- Searth1 on The Giza Necropolis
- Searth1 on Google Earth pyramids
- Searth1 on Heartseas
- Searth1 on Four Seasons, San Francisco Sweet Pepper Hearts
- Searth1 on Four Seasons, San Francisco Sweet Pepper Hearts
- Searth1 on Four Seasons of Khufu
- Searth1 on PYRAMIDS
- Searth1 on Earth ‘e’ 1939
- Searth1 on Stainless Still >>page out of new ebook SEARTHING, Earth Art World 12/12/2012