A videographic essay produced as part of a Masters project at the Huston Film School, NUI Galway. The original abstract from the written essay it was designed to accompany reads as follows:
The extraterrestrial view of the Earth from space has a long historical continuity within Western cultural traditions of art and literature, one traceable back to classical Greek and Roman thought. This essay examines - in both a written and a video form - the surprisingly mutable nature and function of this particular image as it appears within a range of historical and contemporary films. In order to analyze such imagery I draw upon 19th century concerns with the panoramic and the sublime as informing agencies, along with certain psychological and philosophical questions raised by Earth imagery in relation to cinematic realism. Part of this research involved interviewing NASA astronauts about visual experiences in orbit as an investigative mechanism to distinguish terrestrial biases built into cinematic conventions. I also discuss the manner in which the video essay interacts with the textual material, generating a series of overlapping perspectives upon the abstract and emotional capacities of film when dealing with a conceptually anisotropic visual subject.