Eye Alt

or, the distance you are away from looking at something

35cm x 18cm

set of 10 C-type prints

to be published in forthcoming Artesian magazine 2013


From zero to 2539’25.39”N  6605’41.97”W  Eye alt -5837m

Staring at a blue plane, endless, covering the surface of your screen. No bleed here. You slowly navigate the surface, soothing, formations that resemble but not depict, the deep sea. You are in the Kane Fracture Zone. For a moment you think you see the outline of a raised ground, bulging forward, outward or towards you. Then a white dot, small as a polystyrene ball, drifting.

You are looking at what you believe to be a photograph, rendered maybe with an Emboss’ filter. A textured surface in a dark marine blue on, or in, or underneath, a smooth Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen screen. An irregular pattern of broken lines, patches and shades assuming dimensionality, like skin folds, maybe. You trust the image, it is the perfect visualisation of what you wish to envision, the bottom of the sea.

Zoomed out, 4000km above sea level, the earth is patchy, irregular, but assembled, frames overlap, partly pixelated, copyrighted: countless satellite images, some photographically flattened, from above, others generated, aiming for that evocative soulful depth.

You continue, hand held on navigation key, speeding down, or across, or forward, or inward, through now perfectly connecting images. You get to 221.61km Eye alt. The image still belongs to Europa Technologies in 2011.

Slowly it moves, loads, from blurred to fairly crisp, until the screen shows white irregular lines drawn across the blue tones. You are now 11.11km above sea level. You loose sight of the overview and are looking at a flat plane, in motion. Reflections of light gently play on the water surface, faint waves travel across your screen. The flatness and depth have merged.

At 120m you pause again, an immersive image, close up, blindingly bright. An abstract play of light fills the screen. One click, a sudden white flash, then deep ultramarine blue, the allusion of water surface turns to an illusion of clear, texture-less, deep sea water. The images now belong to SIO, NOAA, U.S.Navy, NGA and GEBCO. You keep diving. The crosshair-resembling guide shakes, gliding across the screen. Eye alt -5843m, you have hit the bottom of the sea.

From your ground-level view you look up at the rippled water surface, from below now, turquoise hue, and then start gliding across the bed.

There are no fish, no vegetation, no life. There is no sound feature enabled, it is silent, no crackling, no hiss, sputter or hum. Perfectly rendered. A dark blue elevation on the seabed horizon, you remain, hiding, deep down and wonder if anyone might ever pass by, at 2539’25.39”N   6605’41.97”W  Eye alt -5837m.