Hello, World! is the first algorithmically-generated artwork sent to space and is a data visualization of the both the population and the carbon footprint of all the major cities on Earth. I created this as part of the “Art in Space” exhibition at Autodesk Pier 9 in collaboration with Planet Labs.
Etched on the side of an imaging satellites by the private company, Planet Labs, the artwork was deployed on August 19th, 2015 on the satellite: Dove 0C47. The artwork will circle the Earth for 18 months until its satellite orbit decays and it burns up in our atmosphere.
The left side of the satellite panel displays the population of each city, represented by squares proportional to the population size. On the right side is the carbon footprint of each city, represented by circles. By comparing the two, one can make correlations between national policies and effects on the atmosphere. For example, even though Tokyo is the most populated city on earth, its carbon emissions per capita is very low, making its carbon footprint much smaller in size, than Houston, Shanghai or Riyadh, which have disproportionately large footprints.
The etched panel resembles a constellation of interconnected activity and inverts the viewpoint of the sky with that of the earth. It is from this “satellite eye,” that we can see ourselves and the effect of humans on the planet. The poetic gesture of the artwork burning up as the satellite re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere, serves as reminder about the fragile nature of Earth.
Video by Pier 9 on the “Art in Space” project. And the Instructable is here