Rainbow airplanes are all over Google Earth.
The rainbow airplane is a glitch. Google Earth satellites don’t use normal images. They collect data from a broad swath of the electromagnetic spectrum and record red, green and blue separately.
This is called the Pansharpening Effect. Because of it, you sometimes find weird artifacts produced by fast-moving objects. Computation is everywhere. It’s layered over everything. We’re living inside that computer as well.
These rainbow airplanes force us to look at the underlying systems that govern the world around us.
Big data. Cameras. Satellites. Computers. The internet.
Computers are not like humans. They see the world differently than we do. We see with eyes — they see with data. We think with minds — they think with algorithms.
Internet artists are doing important work. They’re trying to make sense of all our confusion. Through images, they articulate our everyday reality. They draw attention to the things we don’t see. Their work is beyond words.
Art orients us. It’s the birthplace of culture.
Internet art helps us see the internet. Internet art won’t resemble what came before it. But we still don’t know how to judge internet art.
What’s good? What’s bad? What has value? What doesn’t?
We’re confused. Technology is consuming everything.
We don’t know what good internet art is. We don’t know what technology is doing to us. Technology is progressing faster than we can articulate our thoughts about it.
Where are we? What’s happening?
Rainbow airplanes have answers.