Digital inkjet print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper
39 × 39 in
100 × 100 cm
This image is from the "Invalid Data" series, derived from a critical engagement with the cloud-filtering algorithms employed by Geoscience Australia’s “Digital Earth Australia” (DEA) satellite-imaging platform.
For the past 40 years, NASA Landsat satellites have been circling the Earth, capturing high-resolution multi-spectral images of the surface of the planet from 700km into space. Scientists at DEA use satellite data to track environmental change over time, and they employ complex algorithms to filter clouds from the data and obtain a clear picture of the Earth. The result of this filtering is a vast archive of “invalid data” – a 40-year record of the incredible cloud formations that daily spread across the continent.
Inverting normal scientific process, the images in this series are derived solely from this invalid data, showing the clouds, cloud shadow and fragments of gauzy land that are deemed unusable for the purposes of scientific earth observation.
Simultaneously algorithmic, computational and photographic, the images are rendered using Near Infrared and Shortwave Infrared light, enabling a dramatic colour space that separates cloud layers and types and foregrounds atmospheric textures and phenomena invisible to the human eye.
Grayson Cooke has presented media art and live audio-visual performance works in Australia and internationally, having exhibited and performed in major international festivals such as the Japan Media Arts Festival, the WRO Media Art Biennale, the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York, VIDEOFORMES in France and the Currents New Media festival in Santa Fe. As a scholar he has published widely in academic journals, and he is also an associate editor for the scholarly journal “Transformations.” He holds an interdisciplinary PhD from Concordia University in Montreal.