Image-of-the-Week: Life Support Systems


Life Support Systems. Left to right: From Earth; Ether; View From Tomorrow.: Jennifer Targett.Life Support Systems. Left to right: From Earth; Ether; View From Tomorrow. Jasmine Targett.

Australian artist Jasmine Targett‘s new triptych Life Support Systems, currently on display in Melbourne, depicts the invisible ecological wounds to our atmosphere. The glass sphere on the left represents the view we see From Earth: “The sky appears blue, the atmosphere majestic. The unseen danger that looms above appears only as a flickering to those aware of the impending situation.” The center piece, Ether, depicts the 2006 Antarctic ozone hole, the largest yet measured: “Like a bubble whose structural integrity has been compromised, the Earth’s life support system is tethered to an ecosystem of universal proportions from which no part is immune from the changes of its counterparts.” On the right, View From Tomorrow, represents a forecast for the future, as the ozone hole closes and toxic greenhouse gases are trapped: “Vast amounts of scientific data produced to comprehend changing environmental conditions challenge the way we make sense of the world. The forecast for tomorrow is reliant on our perception of today.” My favorite part about these works: they’re made of dichroic glass, originally engineered in the 1950s by NASA et al for spacesuit visors. “NASA’s further atmospheric observations have revealed the ecological crisis today,” writes Targett.

 

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  • Julia Whitty is the environmental correspondent for Mother Jones. Her latest book is Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean. For more of her stories, click here.