Through current technologies, artists can now produce and create images that are above what people normally see every day. By using satellite, artists create colorful images, similar to abstract paintings. They combined art and science in producing remote sensing art works.
Remote sensing is a way of gathering data and information without physical contacts, such as satellite or other sensors. Through the use of remote sensing, artists visualize the data they have gathered on weather, “mineral deposits, irrigation, or underwater formations,” and etc.
Art Beyond Our Vision (ABOV) is a collective artists who focus on image processing for remote sensing. They work with different data sets to produce different abstract images resulting from “Earth Observation over the past three decades and when processed artistically introduce a rather contemporary and often abstract view of the Earth’s surface.” The artworks not only serve artistic purposes but also can be used as scientific references to data sets.
There are several pieces from ABOV. One of them is Dancer (Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona Border) by Larry Ammann. The image is created as “the Colorado River as it flows into Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border, through the Glen Canyon dam at Page, Arizona, and then into Marble Canyon.” The different colors represent the mineral composition around Lake Powell, which cannot be seen in visible light but only through satellite. Ammann points out that “[there] is a significant difference in the composition of the rocks north of the lake compared to the composition of the rocks south of the lake” to show the significance of different mineral compositions through visualizing the data set.
The remote sensing artworks serve both artistic and scientific purposes. Artists have developed a new media through the use of remote sensing and different data sets to create images. They have worked beyond the traditional media, such as oil, water color, and acrylic. The new technologies help the artists to create images which is impossible for previous artists to produce. Moreover, they help scientists and other people to analyze the data sets easier by visualizing the information and using color coding.
The artists who dedicate their works to remote sensing have pushed beyond their imaginations and create images that people cannot normally see through their human eyes. Technologies help artists to explore different medium to create their work, so it is interesting to see how technologies will lead artists to produce more creative and innovative works. Moreover, artists using technologies to bring their imaginations to real life is also an interesting topic for people to think about.
Art, science and technologies help to improve each other and to create a better and more convenient life for people. Artists and scientists keep pushing their boundaries to discover and produce different works in both art and science world. People never know when is their limit because we always search and learn about the unknowns to make the society we live in now a better world.