Throwback: Spaceship Earth

The focus of the “Spaceship Earth” exhibition cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Ars Electronica was the satellite image and the incredible depth of information hidden behind these impressive images. The arrangement in the exhibition space was derived from the elliptical orbits of the satellites. Freely rotating stelae were positioned around the rotating globe, using the rotational motion as an innovative interaction metaphor. Circling the stelae, visitors embarked on a journey to the most exciting places on earth and were able to immerse themselves in the information levels behind the impressive images by simply touching the multi-touch surfaces. Questions about the location of the images, the technical background of the sensor technology and visualization, and the higher-level contexts were dealt with in an interactive narrative structure. The installation developed by Ars Electronica Solutions also invited collaborative action. When the individual steles were arranged synchronously, the visual and acoustic signals added up to create a change of perspective for the visitors, from the orbit of the satellites to the atmosphere of our planet. From there, the gaze was directed towards the cosmos, which we are traversing at breakneck speed with our spaceship Earth.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organization whose mission is the civilian use and exploration of space.

More pictures of over 40 years of Ars Electronica can be found in our archive.

In our Throwback series, we take a look back at past events, exhibitions, installations and other exciting happenings from the Ars Electronica universe since 1979.

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