dark sky

Hey folks, it’s Dark Sky Week, a time to extinguish the lightbulbs, switch off the smartphones, and consider the impact light pollution has on our planet and our ability to enjoy it.

One artist has taken the time to reimagine a slew of famous skylines without the endless human-made lights — lights in skyscraper windows, car headlights, millions of phone and tablet screens, laptops, neon signs, TV screens, even those giant, glowing billboards you see next to the freeway.

Check it out:

The artist behind the series is Thierry Cohen, a Parisian and longtime professional photographer. Since the 2000s, he’s taken a lot of time and talent to focus on the impact of digital technologies on our world and our future. In addition to the Darkened Cities series, he also created a series of images called Binary Kids, which puts a metaphorical overlay of technology on portraits of humanity’s next generations.

Limited edition prints of the Darkened Cities series are available via Cohen’s site; you can buy 66-centimeter and 100-centimeter versions.

Light pollution is the next big green crusade — and given the rapid proliferation of glowing screens, it makes total sense. Researchers at the International Dark-Sky Association say it’s causing cancer, increasing insomnia, spurring sexual dysfunction, and hurting the migratory patterns of animal species — all that in addition to robbing urban-dwelling people of one of our greatest treasures: our view of the rest of the universe.

Image credit: Thierry Cohen