In 1972 as the three man crew of Apollo 17 rocketed towards the moon, they took a moment to look back towards Earth and take a picture. That picture, taken as the astronauts set out on the last manned mission to the moon, would become one of the most widely reproduced images in human history. The debut of Blue Marble, as the photograph has been named, changed the way we view our little blue planet in the context of the vast universe. In his latest public art piece, now on view at 159 Ludlow street in New York City’s Lower East Side, artist, activist and designer Sebastian Errazuriz pays homage to the iconic photograph with a new high tech installation titled blu Marble. Errazuriz’s blu Marble is a series of images of Earth live-streamed from a NASA satellite and displayed on a custom-made 20-foot LED screen that stands in an empty lot.
The still images of Earth pulled from NASA’s satellite are merged through software developed by Errazuriz’s team to show a slow video progression of the planet as it transitions through the day and night in real-time. The satellite images are usually used by NASA to monitor and study daily variations of vegetation, ozone, aerosols, clouds, reflectivity and other meteorological factors. On his website, Errazuriz describes the piece as “a reminder of our miraculously fragile existence.” Just as the Blue Marble photograph did in the 1970s, he hopes that this piece will inspire contemplation and a change in perspective. “It places our very existence in perspective at a global level – as a tiny spec in space – beckoning us to live fully with an awareness and mindfulness of our limited time on this vulnerable and beautiful planet,” Sebastian Errazuriz stated.
The blu Marble project, launched in Manhattan on March 13th with a one-night display of Earth images projected onto the New Museum, was created with support from e-vapor brand blu as part of the company’s new campaign, “Pledge World by blu.” The campaign encourages adults to make a pledge to do something that will fulfill a dream and change their life. From now until April 26th, panelists at the company will review pledges every two weeks and pick up to five winners who will be granted a cash prize to help fulfill their dreams a reality.
Blu Marble will be on display 24/7 until April 14th. If you can’t make it down to the Lower East Side to see the installation in person, you can watch the live footage of Earth here.
Next, check out the other art installations you can see in New York City this month!