The science of seeing skyscapes – A photographic documentary of watching

Skyscapes enable a multifaceted approach to what can be associated to the perception of the sky (elaborated upon initially in Fabio Silva, 2015a and further clarified in Silva 2017). The sky can be framed by a landscape and its components, whether they are material or metaphorical. The sky can also be engaged with in many other ways that all have a holistic approach in common; the concept of watching. In order to explore and make evident the holistic perception of the watching of skyscapes, the chapter will make reference to two research projects that take wholly different approaches: a hard science and a phenomenological creative response. The first, Human Eyes and Ancient Monuments - Investigating Observation of Horizon Events within Passage Graves, develops from the darkened science lab out into a contextualised skyscape - watching from the depth of a passage grave how the skyscape beyond reveals itself. The second, Skyscape Places and Skyscape Experiences: Contemporary Artistic Exploration of Astronomy within Stellarium, commences from a simulated unlived planetarium location before entering into a skyscape experience. It then engages through the “visible and mobile body” (Maurice Merleau-Ponty 1964, 163) phenomenologically with the lived experience of skyscape.