French Artist Thierry Cohen Imagines What Cities Would Look Like If Lit Only By The Stars


Shanghai 31° 14′ 39” N 2012-03-19 Lst 14:42 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery

Carl Sagan once said anything shining in the night sky does so because of distant nuclear fusion. The physics involved are awesome, and so too are the billions and billions of stars seen from here on Earth. But with every passing day, increasing light and air pollution from growing cities diminishes our ability to observe the cosmos.

French artist Thierry Cohen draws attention to this creeping loss in his series Villes éteintes (Darkened Cities), which imagines the world’s largest cities under clear night skies. His photographs are as impossible as they are beautiful. The dark urban landscapes and vibrant constellations are composites of two images—one of the city and one of the sky.

“By combining two realities, I am making a third that you cannot see … but it exists! I am showing you the missing stars,” says Cohen. “Photography is way of showing things that we can’t see. Photography is a way to dream. I am not showing you post-apocalyptic cities, merely cities without electricity. I am bringing back the silence.”

More: Thierry Cohen, Instagram h/t: wired


San Francisco 37° 48’ 30’’ N 2010-10-09 Lst 20:58 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery


Hong Kong 22° 16’ 38’’ N 2012-03-22 Lst 14:00 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery


Rio de Janeiro 22° 56’ 42’’ S 2011-06-04 Lst 12:34 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery


Tokyo 35° 41′ 36” N 2011-11-16 Lst 23:16 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery


New York 40° 44’ 39’’ N 2010-10-13 Lst 0:04 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery


Los Angeles 34° 03’ 20’’ N 2010-10-09 Lst 21:50 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery


Shanghai 31° 13′ 22” N 2012-03-17 Lst 14:47 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery


Paris 48° 50’ 55’’ N 2012-08-13 Lst 22:15 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery


Hong Kong 22° 17′ 55” N 2012-03-23 Lst 14:54 Thierry Cohen/Danziger Gallery

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