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http://www.esmeegeerken.com/files/gimgs/th-8_8_tangent-trans.jpg
Tangent trajectory
http://www.esmeegeerken.com/files/gimgs/th-8_8_transfertrans.jpg
Hohmann transfer orbit trajectory
http://www.esmeegeerken.com/files/gimgs/th-8_8_radialws2.jpg
Radial trajectory
http://www.esmeegeerken.com/files/gimgs/th-8_1.jpg
Pair of extendable sticks to enclose the moon, the sun and what’s behind
http://www.esmeegeerken.com/files/gimgs/th-8_11_11_pilotwrongway_v2.gif
Pilot taking wrong direction home
http://www.esmeegeerken.com/files/gimgs/th-8_9_9_walking-around-eachothers-horizon.gif
Walking around on each others horizon

Whether you can perceive the shape of an object all depends on the size ratio and distance between you and the object. If you are small and the object you're standing on is big, you either disappear into the surface or need to take a distance (either mentally or physically). What interests me about our relationship to the size of the planet, is that we seem to be -unaided by scientific methods- just a tiny bit too small to see a sphere, yet not small enough to not care. Therefore, we seem to be at a very particular cross-section of scales, between perceiving the Earth as a plane and perceiving it as a sphere. Maybe, because we are too small to see the whole picture, yet at the same time big enough to allow a glimpse of curvature, we enlarged our perception using mathematics, technology and knowledge until we could see the whole picture.

For the ongoing Trajectories & curvatures project I'm questioning what it means to live on a sphere, an obsession rooted in standing on top of an observation tower as a young child. Can I imagine the curvature between me and someone else? How do long-distance pilots experience the shape of the Earth when flying to the other side of the world? Can you escape a spherical object?

Amongst other exercises, I visualized the different trajectories one can follow when trying to escape a spherical object and along the way, how the decreasing angles capturing the horizon allow you to see a sphere.

Tangent trajectory

Untitled from Esmee Geerken on Vimeo.

Hohmann transfer orbit

Untitled from Esmee Geerken on Vimeo.

Radial trajectory

radial trajectory from Esmee Geerken on Vimeo.

Interview with pilot Alexandre van Damme

Interview with pilot from Esmee Geerken on Vimeo.