ORBIT – an enhanced planetary icon | 2017/18

ORBIT – an enhanced planetary icon | 2017/18

The Light of the World

“The most beautiful and horrifying Dymaxion map yet.”
David McConville, The Buckminster Fuller Institute

+b (ORBIT) shows Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map of the earth built from multiple layers of white industrial sugar cubes and illuminated by the complete sequence of all nuclear explosions from 1945 until now. Using the cubes as three-dimensional pixels, +b emphasizes the intimate relationship between information, energy, resources and their resulting impact on society and nature. +b stages the most extreme power released by humankind, irreversibly transforming the atmosphere and igniting the epoch of the nuclear Anthropocene with its application and supposed mastery of atomic power.

The work illustrates how this mastery is really the reiteration of a profound error and the subsequent compounding of that error. We keep on making mistakes. Some of these errors are extraordinarily beautiful and useful, some are terrifyingly destructive with long-term planetary impact, and many are both.

Fuller’s map from 1943, somehow anticipating a new planetary environment through the transmutation of elements and minds, is the only flat representation of the entire surface of the Earth that reveals our planet as one continent in one ocean, without any obvious distortions of the shapes and sizes of the land areas, and without splitting any continents.

In times of peace, sugar is being used as a food source for humans and a potentially abundant regenerative source of energy for machines (ethanol). Energy may even become the primary product of sugar cane processing, rather than sugar itself.
Nevertheless, in times of war, sugar is the first item to be rationed as a building block for making conventional explosives.

Since the year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Fuller’s “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth” and the nuclear ambivalence has prominently resurfaced, we do believe that right now is the perfect time to foster aspects of humanity that serve as prerequisites for peace.

In logic and mathematics, “or” is the truth-functional operator of disjunction. The logical connective that represents this operator is typically written as ∨ or +.

A “bit” is the maximum amount of information that can be conveyed by a binary digit. The symbol for binary digit is either simply bit or lowercase b.

An “orbit” is a path described by one body in its revolution about another (as by the earth about the sun or by an electron about an atomic nucleus), simply written +b.


created by
Michael Saup
Andrea Winter
Andreas Erhart

co-produced by
Trans-Media-Akademie Hellerau e.V.

selected by
Ulf Langheinrich

Shuichi Fukazawa
David McConville, The Buckminster Fuller Institute

supported by
International Uranium Film Festival
Umweltbundesamt Dessau, Germany

with the help of
Li Alin
Nicole Pesant Méalin
Rosa-Lee Sendlinger
Nadine Bors
die wellenmaschine
the openframeworks community

Knut Bressgott
Laura & Emily Winter
Karolina Funk

special thanks
Endre Ketzel
Thomas Dumke &
the great team
at cynetart Dresden

filmed by
Acci Baba
Michael Saup