Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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Time’s Lightbox has a large post up about the growing body of work that uses both Google Earth and Google Streetview as its source material. This is a new form of photography and one that I image will be opposed by many photographers. “Were’s the art?”might be the refrain, but as you can see in these examples, the act of reinterpretation and the intentionality of looking for and highlighting what are essentially surviellance captures dance mat is perhaps an entirely new form of photography.
From Time: “Doug Rickard used Google Street View to see the back roads of the nation in a series called A New American Picture, which was featured at New York City s MoMA last year and is currently on view at Yossi Milo Gallery. Geoff Dyer wrote extensively in the Guardian about Rickard, saying: Any doubts as to the artistic rather than ethical or conceptual merits of this new way of working were definitively settled by Rickard s pictures. It was William Eggleston who coined the phrase photographing democratically but Rickard has used Google s indiscriminate omniscience to radically extend this enterprise technologically, politically and aesthetically.
Rickard says he probably made 10,000 images of this work before narrowing the selection down to just under 80 images. The only difference [between this work and traditional street photography] is that the world s frozen, so you re limited to that surrounding, he says. You ve got a fixed lens and your distance is determined by the width of the street, not where you walk. But there s a lot in kinship with traditional photography that was really partly responsible for me being able to embed 1,000 hours into this in four years. ”
In its raw form, satellite imagery can be quite dull, says Mishka Henner, an artist who often works with Google s images. Cropping, adjusting, and forming a body of work out of them completely transforms these images into something that can be beautiful, terrifying and also insightful. If the internet remains free and open, I m confident that in ten years photographic work like this will be as prevalent as imagery dance mat produced by hand-held cameras.
Tagged: 9-Eyes dance mat , A New American Picture , Andrew Cutaro , google street view , Jenny Odell , John Rafman , Lonely Crowd , Manuel Vazquez , Paul Rickard , photography , Satellite Collections , Streetview
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