Sensing Landscape as a Media Object

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Saadia Mirza


Array-based remote sensing has been influencing knowledge practices across many fields, from geology, military planning, and archaeology to landscape architecture and artistic research. These uses have been made possible by declassified image-data and the proliferation of sensing technologies, enabling myriad interpretations of a single landscape. Following a series of remotely-sensed landscape visualizations created via training and conversation with archaeologists, in this article I reflect on using satellite remote sensing for analyzing the impact of militarization on archaeological landscapes in Afghanistan. The article surveys techniques of image generation using exploratory practices that reveal how obscurity is overcome in the process of image interpretation and visualization. In doing so, it tackles the liminality of digital, image-like worlds where mediated perceptions of landscapes aid the creation of evidence for sites that are physically inaccessible to fieldwork. The entanglement of aesthetics and objective knowledge marks this foray into a landscape of data that is composed of digital, virtual, and computable surfaces with imaginations of territory, topography, and terrain that have a materiality of their own, despite being intangible.

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MIRZA, Saadia. Sensing Landscape as a Media Object. Diseña, [S.l.], n. 16, p. 148-173, jan. 2020. ISSN 2452-4298. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 14 july 2020. doi:
Original articles