Format 1: 132 x 202 cm / 52 x 79.5 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Format 2: 67 x 102 cm / 26.3 in x 40.2, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec, custom-made aluminium frame
The U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, is working on plans for a novel telescope technology. The development program Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) aims at replacing conventional glass optics with lightweight polymer membranes that will pave the way for a foldable plastic orbital telescope. Such a revolutionary high-resolution space telescope will be placed in geostatio-nary orbit (at an altitude of 36,000km) to conduct high resolution photographic and video surveillance of the surface of the Earth in real-time. The optical plastic membranes will be mounted on thin aluminum panels which unfold in space like origami works to form a tele-scope of over 20m in diameter. The polymer lenses will transmit light to the sensors of a facing satellite which generates images and video. From its position in geostationary orbit, the telescope will be capable of scanning about 40 percent of the Earth’s surface at a resolution of one meter.
The artwork "orbital spy" visualizes this futuristic space technology. Based on what little information is now available on the internet, a 3D model of the telescope was rendered and combined with an Earth view. This technology will not only revolutionize the way images are captured but will also prove a watershed in terms of the capability of military and state-controlled surveillance to monitor the planet and the people who live on it.