By Lisa Parks
In 1957 Sputnik, the world’s first man-made satellite tv for pc, dazzled humans because it zipped round the planet. via the start of the twenty-first century, greater than 8 thousand satellites orbited the Earth, and satellite tv for pc practices resembling dwell transmission, direct broadcasting, distant sensing, and astronomical remark had altered how we imagined ourselves relating to others and our planet in the cosmos. In Cultures in Orbit, Lisa Parks analyzes those satellite tv for pc practices and indicates how they've got affected meanings of “the international” and “the televisual.” Parks means that the convergence of broadcast, satellite tv for pc, and laptop applied sciences necessitates an accelerated definition of “television,” one who encompasses practices of army tracking and clinical statement in addition to advertisement leisure and public broadcasting.
Roaming around the disciplines of media reports, geography, and technological know-how and know-how reviews, Parks examines makes use of of satellites by way of broadcasters, army officers, archaeologists, and astronomers. She appears at Our World, a dwell intercontinental tv software that reached million audience in 1967, and Imparja television, an Aboriginal satellite tv for pc television community in Australia. Turning to satellites’ remote-sensing features, she explores the U.S. military’s creation of satellite tv for pc photos of the battle in Bosnia in addition to archaeologists’ use of satellites within the excavation of Cleopatra’s palace in Alexandria, Egypt. Parks’s reflections on how Western fantasies of keep an eye on are implicated within the Hubble telescope’s perspectives of outer area aspect to a broader quandary: that whereas satellite tv for pc makes use of promise a “global village,” additionally they reduce and divide the planet in ways in which expand the hegemony of the post-industrial West. In concentrating on such contradictions, Parks highlights how satellites move paths with cultural politics and social struggles.
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Additional info for Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual
38 Not only did satellite vantage points and cartographic perspectives represent the ‘‘whole earth’’ as a uniﬁed object via the Earth shot, but a range of stylistic strategies were deployed and combined to construct the show’s discourse of global presence. Indeed, the show initiates practices that have become the hallmarks of live global coverage. If, as Caldwell suggests, televisuality refers to the stylistic excesses and selfexhibitionism of the medium, then Our World marks a key moment in this history.
S. 19 Gestures toward international cooperation in the development, regula- 27 tion, and use of satellites were often inﬂuenced by cold war politics. 20 Following the Soviets’ lead, the other Eastern bloc participants—Poland, Hungary, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia—withdrew. Producers quickly added Denmark to Our World’s roster and ended up with fourteen rather than eighteen contributing countries and beamed the show’s signal to viewers in twenty-four rather than thirty nations. The communist bloc’s withdrawal from Our World demonstrated the use of liveness for an overt political purpose—that is, to call attention to what the Soviets perceived as inappropriate Western intervention in the Six-Day War in the Middle East.
This chapter explores how archaeologists use remote sensing to peer back in time and read the earth’s surface as a text. It also explores how the televisual permeates scientiﬁc disciplines organized around practices of distant discovery. Rather than embrace the technologically determinist claim that satellites simply enhance and improve archaeologists’ vision, I analyze the use of satellites in relation to various cultural 18 discourses that construct Cleopatra as a sexual spectacle, site of racial ambi- Introduction guity, and monument of Western civilization.