This project investigates the notion of lightness of earth: an attempt to lighten our conceptions of the earth through mapping and imaging with light-based mediums. ‘Lightness’ immediately infers two simple oppositions: the first is the conception which is most familiar to us: lightness >< heaviness, which implies weight, gravity, and groundedness. The second opposition is less obvious, yet more fecund: lightness >< heaviness. Earth as Light explores this double connotation of ‘light’. It sidesteps current perceptions of the earth as heavy, and presents light-based representation as a means by which the earth might be revealed as light, animate and generative.
Earth as Light aims to halt further sedimentation of the idea that the earth is fixed, stable and inert. This sedimentation occurs in landscape representation when attempts are made to enliven the earth through the moving image, whether animation techniques such as sped-up satellite imagery or the frame of the car windscreen. We argue that such imagining encourages ‘degeneration of vision’ because it promotes the conception that the Earth can only be animated by mobilising the frame through which we view it or via an oppositional architecture of filigree.