Asher Israelow, ‘Wayfinder’, 2016, Chamber

With an accurate projection of the night sky dialed in by time andlocation, this astrolabe—an ancient astronomical tool used in the quest for truth about time, the sun, the stars and the universe—envisions the sky from anywhere on Earth and at any point of the past. Rooted in the history of sea navigation and space exploration, the astrolabe was used in classical antiquity, during the Islamic Golden Age, the European Middle Ages and the Renaissance, for locating and predicting the positions of the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars. This modern-day astrolabe acts as a viewfinder when light coming in through the scope and projects an image onto its lens. Featuring three separate adjustments—focal length, date, and location—it produces an accurate representation of the night sky from where you are standing. It is a lens for dreamers, depicting both the night sky by day and the constellations by night, allowing its user to experience the phenomenon of theoretical time travel, or set the location elsewhere, allowing one to gaze upon a set of someone else’s stars.

Image rights: Guang Xu

About Asher Israelow