Bex Jones and Anthropology

The Anthropology of Air

My interest in Air as a topic for anthropological study began with an off-hand coversation about the work being done on the International Space Station (ISS). As a side project to my Masters in Digital Anthropology,several of my cohort had inaugurated a group looking at the Anthropology of Space, Astroanthropology. While a great deal of the things we send into space are there to give us a better understanding of what lies beyond our fragile envelope Earth's surface, in fact a even more is focused on understanding the envelope itself.

Dozens of satellites orbit the Earth as you read this, with sensors pointed at the Earth and through its atmosphere. These sensors capture data that gives us a sense, if not a picture, of what is happening to the Earth on a global scale, and there is nothing more global than the air. Although the boundaries between land, sea and sky are fuzzy at best, the atmopshere is set apart by it pervasiveness around the entire planet.

Skimming through NASA's gallery archive of images made from atmospheric data, I discovered an image, nicknamed (at least by the astroanthropologists) 'World on Fire'



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