Satellite Self Portrait


This work in progress intends to elaborate a critical engagement with global mapping and surveying technologies made available through digital technology and internet-based distribution methods. In the context of EOP’s own research methodology, comprising the use of platforms such as Google Maps and Google Earth, the work acts as a reflection, metaphorically and literally, on the way satellite imagery shapes and mediates everyday perceptions of space, and its potential uses for aesthetic purposes other than strictly utilitarian ones.

The concept is a simple one:  to physically place a very large convex mirror in open ground so that it, and the skyscape it reflects, can be visually detected and reproduced in the form of satellite photography. As the satellite’s camera would be placed directly above the mirror at the time of capturing such an image, the satellite would effectively be taking a picture of its own reflection. This image would then be incorporated into a much wider virtual landscape as rendered in Google Maps, lending itself to be encountered by other internet users.

The work borrows from the emergent culture of Google Maps subversion, in which individuals and groups create a visual statement on a large piece of ground so that it can be seen from above, and reappear in the realm of publicly accessible, virtual cartographic imagery. This process enables anyone to potentially use Google Maps or any other mapping archive as a form of parasitic publishing, bearing testimony to otherwise ephemeral spatial interventions.

Undecided location
Participants: Gaia Rosenberg Colorni, Gwilym Sainsbury

Proposal illustration for Satellite Self Portrait showing the convex mirrored surface that is intended to reflect the location of the satellite.

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