Bei From 2-11 January 2008 the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Munich's Art Tunnel are presenting an exhibit entitled, "The Earth from Space." From its wealth of satellite data, DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen has selected, processed and arranged for this exhibit 12 images from an aesthetic perspective. The images of Earth are the size of large advertising panels and are located in the public underpass connecting the underground (U-Bahn) lines 4/5 and 3/6 at the Odeonsplatz station.
This exhibition area, initiated 13 years ago by the Munich artist Regina Haller, is becoming a local tradition. In any event it certainly could be considered an art happening since the exhibits simply disappear after ten days, the same way advertising panels are pasted over. So be sure to go before it’s all over.
In contrast to photographs made by astronauts, these images were derived from measured physical quantities to which colors have been assigned. These false color images consequently appear unfamiliar, contain optical surprises, and reveal a link between science and art.
Art and science: the connection has almost always been a serious topic. What used to be intimately connected seems to no longer have anything in common. Although science is more important today than it ever was, today’s art is seldom concerned with the subject.
Superficially we see colored satellite images, almost a collection of by-products, or even waste products, which is of course not true because of their scientific relevance. The colors the shapes the format are all impressive, and then comes curiosity. A searching look followed by an attempt to determine what that huge printed piece of paper is supposed to represent. What was photographed? Where in the world is that place to be found, and is it really as beautiful as it looks here? A connection to abstract painting is quickly made if one cannot decode the forms and colors. A bit too fast? Because, besides the unusual medium, these images have a different conception as well, one which, once the fact of a scientific satellite image is accepted, is completely open and no longer allows the question of who the artist is, and the old question from school days, “what does the artist want to tell us” becomes irrelevant. Is this art that doesn’t come from an artist?
It is not possible to figure out where the science aspect stops, or whether the art has been there from the beginning!