Earth not a globe

Philippe Braquenier

2016 - Ongoing

'Earth Not a Globe' takes its name from an influential volume on one of the most extreme conspiracy theories, claiming the earth’s surface to be flat rather than spherical. Substantiated by Samuel Birley Rowbotham at the end of the nineteenth century, this theory has since brought together a large community of devotees who continue to spread the word virally today.

For this project, Philippe Braquenier cuts straight to the heart of the discursive mechanisms at work within these conspiracy theories, pinpointing and dissecting a series of ‘flat earth’ -supporting statements using his singular experience. To achieve this, he adopts the procedures used by Rowbotham’s disciples, to display the same empirical experience through images. He thus creates ‘forensic’ evidence by manipulating, fragmenting, misappropriating, and editing, removing the images (accompanied by brief captions) from their context, which could lead us to doubt the earth’s rotation or the existence of gravity itself… were it not for a key detail: the author has left the signs and marks of his plastic intervention visible as clues of his working process. By combining the codes of documentary photography and his own explicit subjectivity, he appears to take a resolutely reflective stance on his practice. In this way, both conspiracy rhetoric and the stereotypes and automatisms informing his photographer’s viewpoint are called into question

In an age of post-truth and globalized information, his work ultimately represents a critical reflection on our relationship to images and their potential power as agents of conspiracy theories.

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  • Title: Sun splitting the vanishing point of the horizon - 2016
    Description: Our eyes like any optics have a limited vision. A limit where we can see to after that we can see no further with the eyes being aided. And even then, there will still be limitations on how far you can see, especially factors like atmospheric conditions.

  • Title: Total solar eclipse - 2017
    Description: Nicholas was looking at the Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 near Salem, Oregon.

  • Title: Rainbows are reflections of the dome firmament - 2018
    Description: Rainbows need three things to work. Light, water and glass. The flat earth has all three of these things. The sun, the waters above the heavens and the solid glass dome firmament.

  • Title: Star trails 20° North - 2018
    Description: If we are rotating at 1.600 km/hr, orbiting the sun at 108.000 km/hr and hurtling through the vacuum of space at 675.000 km/hr, why haven't the constellations and the stars mouvement changed in thousand of years?
    Artist's note: The trails are sandblasted on the frame's glass. Like additional sketches on images shared by the flat-earthers to explain their theory, the glass becomes a new layer of information.

  • Title: Southern stars rotation and divine geometry - 2019

    Description: Southern stars, could they appear to rotate the opposite but are physically turning the same way? This experiment shows how a light and its reflection move in perfect opposition.

  • Title: Propaganda - 2018
    Description: Darryle Marble's personal car.

  • Title: Buoyancy and density, gravity doesn't exist - 2018
    Description: You put salt in water then why does the egg float? Gravity doesn't seem to work in water but yet gravity is pulling all the water down... But not the stuff that is in the water...

  • Title: True perspective - 2016
    Description: The horizon is always at eye level because of the Laws of Perspective that are observed on our flat Earth. This is irrefutable proof that the Earth is not a globe. If the Earth were a globe, the horizon would fall with increasing.
    Artist's note: The grid and the vanishing point are sandblasted on the frame's glass. Like additional sketches on images shared by the flat-earthers, the glass becomes a new layer of information.

  • Title: Jerry - 2019
    Description: Jerry Fletcher is a New York City taxi driver and a firm believer of the flat Earth. He is like a prophet who knows an information that the rest of the world is just too blind to see.

  • Title: Stratospheric box with GPS and GoPro - 2018

  • Title: Three suns effect in Antartica - 2018
    Description: Sun Dogs are reflections off of the firmament. This experiment shows how a light behaves on a shiny dome. Another proof of its existence.

  • Title: Spirit level flight experiment - 2018
    Description: Take a flight to see if the pilot would dip the nose of the plane to compensate for curvature. Grab a spirit level and take it on the plane with you. If we’re living on a spinning ball or globe, according to curvature maths, the plane should be constantly dipping its nose forwards.

  • Title: The planes help to prove the plane - 2018
    Description: Multiple airplane pilots say they think that earth is flat and that GPS devices are rigged to make them think they are flying in straight lines around a sphere when they are actually flying in circles. Also, when airplanes hit cruising altitude and level off, they fly nose up at 3 degrees. This is impossible if airplanes fly over a sphere with a circumferance of 25.000 miles as they should be nose dipping to account for curvature.
    Artist's note: The flights patterns are sandblasted on the frame's glass. Like additional sketches on images shared by the flat-earthers to explain their theory, the glass becomes a new layer of information.

  • Title: Mirror observation #1 - 2018
    Description: Light on a mirror during the night. At a distance of 30.10 miles, an observator is able to see the light reflected on it. With earth's curvature calculation, the mirror should be 186,56ft below the horizon line and thus shouldn't be visible.

  • Title: Spinning globe - 2018
    Description: How is it possible to not feel earth's rotation? It is static and motionless.