Curiosities Sparked by Mirzoeff


Schmitt, Jack. Blue Marble. 1972, Photograph,

“At the time it was published, many people  believed that seeing Blue Marble changed their lives.”

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “How to See the World”. Introduction,  Pelican, 2015, pp. 4.

Mirzoeff’s opens his introduction with a grey-scale copy of the infamous Blue Marble then goes on to highlight its affect on those seeing it for the first time – a curious start to my studies, as this was the very same image that captured my whole imagination on the first day of the second grade, only sixteen years after the photograph was first taken. Seeing the world from afar somehow gave me the permission to turn my thoughts and musings to things unseen, setting me on the path of wanting to define and design the ‘unimagined’.

“We can recognize the Earth from Blue Marble, but only the three-man crew of Apollo 17 have ever actually seen this view, with the earth fully illuminated, and no one has seen it since 1972.”

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “How to See the World”. Introduction,  Pelican, 2015, pp. 9.

It’s fascinating to think that a single image taken in 1972, witnessed first hand by a only a few people would ultimately shaped the way that the entire would would perceive itself in relation to one another and the rest of the universe.

One could almost argue that Blue Marble was the human race’s first collective “selfie”, a snapshot of how we think we will always look, regardless of what we might do to alter that reality.  And if “our thoughts create our perceptions” (Dr Tariq Habibyar), and our perceptions invariably beget action – then perhaps humanity subconsciously turns to images like Blue Marble in it’s self assessment, pacifying that sense of urgency to change how it interacts with planet Earth and in turn, fortifying the status quo?

“A modern camera still makes a shutter sound when you press the button, but the mirror that used to move, making that noise, is no longer there.”

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “How to See the World”. Introduction,  Pelican, 2015, pp. 18.

From a product development perspective, I often think about how we race toward the freedoms that our technical advancements breed, while desperately clinging on to our past comforts to anchor us.  While this provides a great retrospective narrative, sometimes I wonder what the world would look like if we allowed ourselves the inner freedoms of letting go.

Works Cited

Habibyar, Dr. Tariq. “Reflective Writing”. Presentation, 17 March 2017.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “How to See The World”. Introduction, Pelican, 2015, pp. 3-18.
qtd. in Habibyar, Tariq. Reflective Writing, pp. 2, Soren Kierkegaard.
Schmitt, Jack. Blue Marble. 1972, Photograph,



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