26 June 2009

Hopping mad

A facebook tip-off (thanks LV) has led us to a sweet new theory on crop circles. Turns out it's all the work of looney livestock, or at least that's what the men in black would have you believe... But does that explain the proliferation of field formations in particular pockets of the UK? Agrarian substance abuse could certainly explain THIS manifestation. But what of these, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE? Or this complex example, which hasn't been captured by google yet but is apparently located HERE. THIS one in Oregon was clearly made for web browsers, and THIS is just showing off.

4 June 2009

The All-Seeing Eye

"From the Panopticon to the Wunderkammer explores the deep chasm between ideas of ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’. One of the most damaging fantasies of modernity was the idea that there could be a universal view to encompass all people, phenomena and things within set categories. Many museums were founded on such convictions. This view is also made evident in the punitive institution of the Panopticon, the rationalist, Enlightenment prison in which one governor could see all the inmates in their cells from a single, fixed, authoritarian viewpoint. This approach is contrasted with the earlier, more fluid Cabinet of Curiosities, a prototype of the modern museum, which brought together disparate items from different origins as objects of delight and wonderment. In a reversal of history, this Biennale will be a contemporary Wunderkammer, allowing the audience direct experience and enjoyment of a wide range of art that is not categorised in any hierarchical way. [...]

"The Panopticon is a type of prison designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1785. It features a circular array of inward-pointing cells – allowing one guard to observe all the inmates from a single point of view, without the prisoners being able to tell whether they are being watched. The central goal of the Panopticon was control through both isolation and the possibility of constant surveillance."
Media announcement for the 2010 17th Biennale of Sydney

Now let's peer into some Panoptic structures:

Panóptico in BOGOTA, now the National Museum of Columbia

PRESIDIO MODELO in Cuba is also now a museum.

MT EDEN Prisons in Auckland, which apparently resembles...

DARTMOOR Prison, England, which was once put to sea by the Goon Show.

The ROUND HOUSE is the oldest building still standing in Western Australia, which is also home to Australia's Hardest Prison: CASUARINA.

The notorious INSEIN PRISON in Burma was actually built by the British and was the largest in their empire before World War II.

While we're sneaking in and out of correctional facilities, here's ALCATRAZ ISLAND, GUANTANAMO (or Gitmo) and COCKATOO ISLAND, which, like Alcatraz, is now a tourist facility and next year will once more be a venue for the Biennale of Sydney.

This interactive map provides international statistics on prison population per capita.

Image: Inside one of the prison buildings at Presidio Modelo, Isla De la Juventud, Cuba.


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.