Mind the Earth

Using Google Earth to View Issues of Globalisation and Interconnectivity

Amazon Amazon 1975 & 2008

‘It gives us a unique and broad understanding of how the world is connected,’ Experience Communication Manager of Danish Architecture Centre Martin Winther told us about their upcoming exhibition. Mind the Earth displays a total of 81 Google Earth images collected by urban planner Kasper Brejnholt Bak, and accompanied by reflective words from writer Morten Søndergaard.

With four main themes focusing on food, energy, transport and water, the exhibition aims to make the audience take note of the earth’s transformation, and notice things about the globalisation and interconnectivity of the world that are not immediately obvious- with the use of an easily accessible tool as Google Earth. ‘It contains relatively little text, and we believe that the abstract, poetic words of Morten,’ Martin explained, ‘will open people’s minds and make them think further.’
Aral Sea_Utzbekistan Aral Sea, Utzbekistan 1999 & 2013

We asked him more:

The Plus: Is there anything in the exhibition that might surprise people to learn?
Martin Winther:
We’re not trying to be educational in that sense, just more inspirational- about learning more about how the world is interconnected and what kind of challenges we’re really facing, and how we really need to change a lot of habits and dynamics and structures.
We have a picture from Dubai, and one of the pieces of facts about the artificial island, is that they used 100 litres of oil to produce 3 litres of drinking water. So that tells you a lot about how that place was not even meant to be populated by human beings.

Beijing Beijing 2002 & 2013

TP: Which image really stands out the most for you?
A picture from the US. It’s an agricultural watering system that farmers have been using to get the most out of the land, and this has huge consequences on the land, from two miles or three kilometres, it really just looks very beautifully and arranged. But it’s from a piece of land that’s been hugely exploited- and it’s an area where they produce 80% of all greens consumed in the US.

TP: How did the title Mind the Earth come about?
Its Kasper’s idea, it has a double meaning. This is what he wants to say with the exhibition- that there is a gap. And apart from Mind the Earth, as in ‘take care of the earth’, the other understanding is that there is a gap in how things are distributed and how resources are used and how wealth is distributed. It’s not a situation that will hold and the changes are necessary.

Dubai Dubai 2003 & 2014

TP: What else is coming to the DAC?
Then we’ll have an exhibition about rain. We experience quite massive problems with showers or rain. So we’ll be opening an exhibition called The Rain is Coming. In Denmark, getting rid of the rainwater is an assignment that is placed on the companies that deliver water. If we can make those kind of companies work with the municipalities, its possible to save a lot of money and make better spaces in the city.

Images of the planet as seen from an altitude of 10 kilometres:

Mind the Earth runs at the Danish Architecture Centre from the 20 Nov 2014- 11 January 2015.