1 May 2008

Soft Sculpture

The front page of today's NZ Herald has the interesting story of three activists bursting one of the bubbles that protected the notorious WAIHOPAI SPY BASE near Blenheim and denuding the satellite dish hidden within. It wasn't that long ago that the NZ government denied that it even has such a facility, let alone was using it as part of an international intelligence network shared with other countries including the USA. It is commonly thought that the base is used to eavesdrop on civilian communications, and even UN diplomats.

The story concludes: Global Peace and Justice Auckland spokesperson John Minto said the photo of the deflated dome was a "powerful symbol of resistance to New Zealand's role in supporting the so-called war on terror being waged by the US".

Photographing or giving detailed locations of such places would have once been a matter of national security. Taking a photo of a US navy boat in port can still get you arrested. But the entire fleet of any country's security forces are now there for the finding on GOOGLE MAPS. A bit like British Artist Fiona Banner's project, All the World's Fighter Planes.

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Art from Space is an exploration of art-related phenomena that manifests in interesting ways on Google’s aerial maps. It is also an experiment in curatorial practice; collecting, presenting and contextualising items in ways that users can explore, free of curator-imposed framing and sequencing. This blog is Art from Space’s developmental musings made public, where items are introduced to the project in real time, rather than awaiting the grand unveiling of a completed exhibition. Specific locations of interest are highlighted in CAPS and linked to a map for further exploration. Visit the mother ship HERE.