About the Artist

Peter Sforza has studied the forms and functions of nature his entire life. As a biologist and plant pathologist, Peter studied the complex structures and strategies of microscopic organisms that incite disease in plants. Scientific visualization was essential to better communicate the mysterious ways of the microbes, and the forms were modeled in 3-dimensional and 4-dimensional environments. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, The Pathogenesis of Agrobacterium tumefaciens and genetic engineering, The Virtual Nematode, The Virtual Dandelion, and more. Rendering techniques included: static images, 3-d models, animated movies, semi-immersive and fully-immersive virtual environments. Display technologies used ranged from old school flip-book, wall projection and computer monitors to virtual reality theaters (VT CAVE). Some aspects are discussed in this article written by John Rougeux. ... Perspectives on epidemiology, informatics and multi-scale systems emerged from the molecule to the organism, up to the landscape and global scales. Again, the patterns of nature presented an array of rich and complex, chaorganized interactions through these scales. Remote sensing and geography provide many excellent ways to see the world. As a scientist and visual artist working in remote sensing, the theoretical and technical aspects of satellite art are bolstered by a diverse scientific community in academia, government and industry, particularly the USGS science programs. The amazing optics and space systems of NASA, commercial satellite companies, and other space agencies around the world ensure quality data generation through satellite imagery. These optics and 'products' do not ensure quality rendering and processing.

There is currently a surge of both companies and individual artists / studios who are working with satellite imagery as an artform. As the commercial space flight industry grows, artists will be afforded the opportunity to capture the essence of being in space, looking back at the earth, but the uniqueness of satellite imagery will remain intact.... In the case of several of the commercialized companies or resellers offering satellite image prints on the internet, it difficult to escape poor rendering of such nice imagery, largely because these prints are generated through automated computer processing of satellite imagery that can be assembly-lined into a poster series. This sterile approach misses what Peter considers as one of the great challenges in satellite art : how do we connect satellite imagery to the human condition, and appeal to a deeper aesthic sensibility and emotion, while retaining the quality and accuracy of orginal satellite data. People are connected to places, and satellite art can abstract that sense of place and memory in a very meaningful way. In the case of some images, such as Hurricane Katrina Dragon, the connection to the human condition and symbolism present in the image evokes a spectrum of emotions and responses. The majority of the satellite art produced by Peter Sforza has been commissioned work, which has grown into a collection of hundreds of pieces, many with incredible stories behind the requests.

Peter Sforza is a Research Associate in the Department of Geography and Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing at Virginia Tech. He currently serves as the Coordinator of VirginiaView, a statewide consortium for remote sensing education, research, and geospatial applications. Peter holds a B.S. in Biology (1997) and a M.S. in Life Science (2004) with a concentration in Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science at Virginia Tech. Peter's academic work has focused on developing integrative and systems approaches to real world problems in epidemiology, biotic and abiotic interactions, and landscape ecology using scientific visualization, informatics, geospatial technologies, and remote sensing.

September 28, 2007
In collaboration with non-profit organizations, Peter Sforza will be releasing a new series of Limited Edition prints through Satellite-Art.com to help raise awareness and resources for issues in the Gulf Coast, Latin America, and in Virginia. The target date for the official announcement is set for December 1, 2007! Stay tuned, or sign-up for the mailing list to receive an occaisonal newsletter from Satellite-Art.com.

October 2, 2007
The Virginia Wine Map project is under way at www.VirginiaWineMap.net!

Panoramic photography coming in October! Look for 'Huckfest on the New' a 360-degree twilight exposure on the New River!


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