At a guest lecture today at the New School by Peder Anker who is currently curating Global Design NYU (an exhibit that is meant to rethink the view of the global from the perspective of the individual), Peder talked briefly about the history of the environmental movement and the concept of spaceship earth.

In short, the environmental movement started in part when we saw the fragility of the earth when viewed from space. We adopted the perspective of a single astronaut, looking down on the earth as a small entity floating in space. This was the major vision driving environmental politics. For the first time, the earth was so small. And although this spawned a lot of biocentric thinking, it was still from an individual perspective, we still saw the earth through the lens of a single astronaut.

At around the 90’s with the increased technological advancement of personal computers we began to look at the world and perceive it through the lens of the computer (simcity, simearth, GIS, etc).

This shift, was one of moving from the viewpoint of the astronaut, to each of us individually becoming the astronaut.

Were we ever capable of non-individual perception of the environment or the world?

What would that look like?