What Cities Would Look Like if Lit Only by the Stars

“Carl Sagan once said anything shining in the night sky does so because of distant nuclear fusion. The physics involved are awesome, and so too are the billions and billions of stars seen from here on Earth. But with every passing day, increasing light and air pollution from growing cities diminishes our ability to observe the cosmos.”

‘“By combining two realities, I am making a third that you cannot see … but it exists! I am showing you the missing stars,” says Cohen. “Photography is way of showing things that we can’t see. Photography is a way to dream. I am not showing you post-apocalyptic cities, merely cities without electricity. I am bringing back the silence.”’  French artist Thierry Cohen

To really see the impact of the night sky view FULL size pictures at: Wired, Thierry Cohen, Darkened Cities

Rio de Janeiro 22° 56’ 42’’ S 2011-06-04 lst 12:34

Rio de Janeiro

‘“Photography is about poetry more than it is about reality,” says Cohen. “It is how you see the world. You can show the world you want to show.”’

San Francisco 37° 48’ 30’’ N 2010-10-09 lst 20:58

San Francisco

“French artist Thierry Cohen draws attention to this creeping loss in his seriesVilles éteintes (Darkened Cities), which imagines the world’s largest cities under clear night skies. His photographs are as impossible as they are beautiful. The dark urban landscapes and vibrant constellations are composites of two images—one of the city and one of the sky.”

Los Angeles, Disney Hall

Los Angeles, Disney Hall

“Cohen has visited nine cities including New York, San Francisco, Rio De Janeiro, and Hong Kong. Using an equatorial tripod mount and polar-scope, Cohen captures an urban landscape, then travels to a less populated location at the same latitude with greater atmospheric clarity. Using this method, the skies above Shanghai are actually in Western Sahara and Paris is illuminated by the stars over Montana.”

Darkened Cities is on show at East Wing Gallery, Abu Dhabi until November 20.


New Years, A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

I’m waiting alone (my husband is sick in bed) for the ball to drop in New York so I can go to bed knowing that New Years has officially arrived on this continent  – Smiling at a memory of when I was 6 waiting for my parents to return from a New Year’s Eve party. . .

Lying in bed wide awake, scared to go to sleep: This was the first time in my life that a stranger was taking care of me;  The first time  my parents left me to go out.  This New Year’s Eve thing was big.

My Mother spent money on a new dress.  She even bought jewelry – a matching necklace and earrings – to go with the  dress.  Yup, this New Year’s Eve thing was huge.

Wide awake, alone in the dark, listening for their car to pull into the driveway – thinking New Year’s Eve was a once in a lifetime occasion.   I hoped that another New Year’s Eve would happen in my lifetime so I could get a new dress with matching jewelry.

I’m still waiting for that once-in-a-lifetime-New Year’s Eve.