Image Making as Post-Anthropocentric Interfaces
The Blue Marble photograph (1972, captured from the Apollo 17 space mission, at a distanceof about 29,000 km), is commonly mentioned as a reference activator of the ecocriticaldebate, as well as a necessary technical mediator in the development of visual studies inrelation to the ecologist and environmental movements of the late twentieth century. For the firsttime in history the complete figure of the planetary shared home could be observed, whichappeared as a fragile and solitary entity, and even cold, alien and distant. But also, somehow,the visual unity of the globe contributed to transcending the local, regional or national identity,integrating it into a broader network of interaction and meaning, widely shared among multiplesubjects and objects, individuals and communities, governments, identities and territorialities.As the geographer John Pickles points out, thanks to the production of extra-terrestrial imagessuch as Blue Marble, and many others that came later, it was possible to consolidate thewestern ‘trope’ of the global unity of a systemic nature and, at the same time, it activated theenvironmental criticism around the political responsibility of the prevailing neo-capitalist model. In fact, this incipient planetary consciousness directly challenged the development of theTechnosphere framework, whose infrastructures had been massively deployed since the1960s to the point where today, in material terms, its anthropogenic causes (beyond thegeological age of the Anthropocene) impose multiple effects that derive from the logic ofendless capitalist accumulation. It is in this global framework-system where an economic policyof hegemonic nature is still being developed for an ecology-world that we know is finite and inpermanent crisis. As the environmental historian and political economist Jason W. Mooreproposes, today we inhabit the terms imposed by the geological era of the Capitalocene, precisely because the force that shapes the planet is that which emanates from the elitistalliances between capital and technoscience, those that instrumentalize the planet at any costand subordinate it to an unequal benefit that causes the evident breakdown of the ecosystembalance.
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