Albedo

Albedo

"Visible at night from orbit as the biggest galaxy of light on the globe, more populous overall than the United States, the super­ giant megalopolis Europe sets out from Milan... and ends up in Dublin after St. George's Channel. It's a social unit comparable to the Great Lakes or the Greenland icecap in size, in the homogeneity of its texture, and in its hold on the world. This plate of humanity has long disturbed the albedo..." Michel Serres, The Natural Contract [1992]

The albedo (meaning "whiteness" in Latin) is a measure of a surface's ability to reflect solar radiation and thus energy. Changes in the albedo of different surfaces of the globe is an important factor in climate changes, as for example when white sea ice melts in the arctic region because of the heating of the world's atmosphere and rise in sea temperature. The melting down of ice equals a reduction of the albedo leadingto further deglaciation asthe surface of the globe absorbs more energy. This self-perpetuating process is termed positive feedback. Many experts fear that a rise in temperature will initiate irreversible or inevitable feedback mechanisms.

In this exhibition the concept of the albedo, besides being an object of science, is conceived of as what Serres terms a quasi- or superobject. The albedo constitutes a contract between the assembled works in the show that marks up, illuminates and organizes connections among them, inscribing them as objects in a new pact or cycle. The effects of gravitation or transmission between quasi-objects, the exhibited works and scientific objects, as well as these things combined in relation to the white cube, will in this context lead to a physical and spatial lack of balance. Using feedbacks, reflections, markings, destabilisations, grotesques and misantropologies we attempt to open up the albedo concept as a condition for the works to relate to.

Albedo