About
179PH

Julie Anand & Damon Sauer

Ground Truth

2016

Ground Truth: Corona Landmarks, in its broadest sense, investigates an individual’s position on earth in the contemporary context of vast networks of information. We explore this situation by visualizing the expanding pervasiveness of satellite technology in relation to an historically significant set of satellite calibration targets. This system of approximately two hundred fifty-six calibration targets within the Sonoran Desert were created as part of a secret surveillance program in the mid-1960’s. The joint CIA/Air Force classified project known as Corona was a photo-reconnaissance program based on the recovery of physical capsules of ejected film and produced the world’s first maps of earth from space. The sixty-foot diameter concrete forms we photograph are located one per mile within a sixteen square-mile grid, designed as an array of ground truth markers. We are intrigued by the way that these markers of space have become markers of time, representing a poignant moment in geopolitical and technologic social history.

We privilege the skies in each of our compositions to give visual weight to the density of what is imperceptible miles above us. To further engage this idea, we map the specific satellites present in the sky at each site at the moment of photographing, using a satellite tracking application. We enjoy the way that these myriad points and orbital arcs emphasize the ubiquity of this contemporary technology encircling the globe. We explore the remains of Corona architecture as demarking a rich anthropologic moment evidencing the human desire to see from above.

Ground Truth
Map of spy satellite calibration targets in the Sonoran Desert
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AG49 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AC47 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AE48 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AJ46 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AD48 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AD49 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AD51 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark X47 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AF49 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AH49 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AJ48 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AM48 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AM43 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark Y44 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AF48 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AJ55 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AK46 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AE49 with Satellites
Ground Truth
Calibration Mark AN52 with Satellites
32°15'36.0"N 112°55'34.0"W

Location: Sonoran Desert

Posted: May 2017
Category: Photography

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