Screenshots from Google Earth, postcards and postcard racks, inkjet on paper, website
2010-Ongoing, http://www.postcards-from-google-earth.com/, CAM, Raleigh, NC, XPO GALLERY, Paris, France, Thomassen Gallery, Gothenburg, Sweden, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, Art Souterrain, Montreal, Canada, swissnex, San Francisco, CA, Lab for Emerging Arts and Performance (LEAP), Berlin, Germany, Wasserman Projects, Birmingham, MI, Phillips auction house, New York, NY, Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney, Australia, Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco, CA, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Milwaukee, WI
I collect Google Earth images. I discovered strange moments where the illusion of a seamless representation of the Earth’s surface seems to break down. At first, I thought they were glitches, or errors in the algorithm, but looking closer I realized the situation was actually more interesting — these images are not glitches. They are the absolute logical result of the system. They are an edge condition—an anomaly within the system, a nonstandard, an outlier, even, but not an error. These jarring moments expose how Google Earth works, focusing our attention on the software. They reveal a new model of representation: not through indexical photographs but through automated data collection from a myriad of different sources constantly updated and endlessly combined to create a seamless illusion; Google Earth is a database disguised as a photographic representation. These uncanny images focus our attention on that process itself, and the network of algorithms, computers, storage systems, automated cameras, maps, pilots, engineers, photographers, surveyors and map-makers that generate them.