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.