1 July 2008

Serra from space

Once more following the lead of overthenet, currently at large and posting art missives from around the world, I decided to hunt out some Richard Serra works and see how his iconic structures bare up to the harsh truth of the satellite eye. For starters HERE is the work overthenet have just cycled through (cheers for the plug M&J).

Also in Germany, Bramme for the Ruhr District in Essen shows up as little more than an enigmatic SHADOWY WISP in the large clearing it is sited on. It seems this expansive setting photographs well, and this account suggests that the mound is in fact part of the work - note the scale of the work as indicated by the tideline of graffiti.

TORQUE has an impressive traffic-directing placement in the middle of a South German University campus. This one also has a graffiti tideline (see picture above).

Here is EL MUR in Barcelona. Someone asked me earlier this year whether it makes a difference whether I know these sites other than on cyberspace. I suspect it's more interesting and intriguing if I only know them as aerial-digital representations, but I'll report back if I bump into El Mur, or any other alien art, later this month.

TERMINAL in Bochum, Germany, also has been placed to stop traffic. The nice thing about this one is that the aerial view provides an interior.

THIS one is Iron Mountain Run in Connecticut.

Famously, Tilted Arc is long gone, but THIS is where it once stood. And then there is the 38-tonne sculpture that somehow disappeared from a Madrid museum. One of his largest works, Te Tuhirangi Contour, is situated just north of Auckland, but the entire private estate it resides on is MYSTERIOUSLY BLURRY.

It seems Serra translates well to satellite and I could keep going with more examples. But lastly, SEA LEVEL seems perfect for the google traveller. Not only does it reward horizontal scanning, it has an inherent reference that helps the viewer situate it vertically in relationship to its surroundings, something that is usually lost from this angle. I'll let this website do the explaining:

"Sea Level (1996), located on the outskirts of Zeewolde, is situated on either side of a canal. From the adjacent dikes, there emerge two concrete walls which are placed at a diagonal to the canal and in alignment with each other. The viewer mentally connects these two walls with each other, creating an imaginary segment of wall that runs straight across the canal. The top edge of the wall is at sea level; a fascinating interaction arises between the wall, the top edge of the dike and the surface of the water in the canal."

Meanwhile, back on overthenet, they have now noted another monument-al work, which is yet more in the vein of straight-up-as-high-as-you-can-go. The result when given an aerial view, as will eventually be demonstrated HERE, is that there isn''t much action in any other axis .

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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.