Critical Writing Index

Bird Watching: An Introduction to Amateur Satellite Spotting

by Kathy Marmor

Leonardo, Aug. 2008, v. 41, no. 4, pp. 317-323

Space satellites are invisible instruments of globalization that influence governmental policies. This paper examines remote sensing satellites as optical devices capable of redefining human cognition. They represent accessibility and openness through the more agreeable paradigm of transparency. However, transparency, like surveillance, is based on the interconnection between power, knowledge and perceptual experience. Artists use a variety of tactical practices, including amateurism, to tease apart these connections. Amateurism dedicates itself to the politics of knowledge. The author concludes, based on examples of her work and that of others, that the potential for political intervention exists when knowledge is paired with action.

ITEM 2008.163 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

BirdwatchingKathy Marmor

The DNA CookbookKathy Marmor

iSeeInstitute of Applied Autonomy

One Pixel: An Act of KindnessSteven Holloway