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Blog : thirty square meters (against reason)

In 2000 I became fascinated by press announcements that the entire surface of the planet had been mapped by satellite photography. These satellite photographs are digital so in effect the announcement indicated that our entire natural landscape had been digitised There was now a digital representation of our world that stood in parallel to our own: a world reduced to a finite number of pixels. This seemed a significant development in the history of landscape representation particularly in its relationship to property and ownership.

If you imagine this parallel world blown up to a 1:1 scale like in the Borges short story Of Exactitude in Science then the world's surface would become a series of coloured squares: huge swathes of monochrome colour which differ only in hue and tone. Since 2000 I've worked with this imagined landscape as a model to parallel advanced capitalisms trend toward global homogenisation.

In addition it's difficult to imagine a model that takes the oft-theorised 'modernist grid' to a more literal incarnation. My first attempt to work with this idea 'a walk in the park (prototype for a satellite guidance system)' 2001 embraced this relationship. I took 12 pixels from a satellite photograph of Central Park in New York and enlarged them in a 4:1 scale using MDF and emulsion paint mixed in a correlating pallet.

In 2003 I made 'from green to blue and back again' 4 pixels were reproduced from the Park Champs de Mars underneath the Eiffel Tower at a 1:1 scale and then taken to Paris.

They were then filmed from the Eiffel Tower in a single shot pan and zoom that fills the screen with the green of the pixels and then the blue of the sky. The work is shown as a Stereo monitor installation and includes the 4 aluminum pixels and custom crate.


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