“Earth or World? Media-spaces between the surveil and the Possible” presented by Bird


Session Title:

  • Mediated Spaces

Presentation Title:

  • Earth or World? Media-spaces between the surveil and the Possible




  • This talk presents a media art practice intent on revealing the flaws in modern attempts to map the world – accentuating the seams and ruptures which emerge during the capturing and processing of images by automated systems – and connecting them to the damage done to the Earth by historical and contemporary systems of land division and extraction. One way my practice tries to achieve this is by harvesting aerial and satellite imagery (from Google Earth and other popular mapping/imaging platforms), manipulating and projecting it as moving images in public space. Projection sites are chosen for their connection to the subject of each work, and the intention is that bringing the image back to spaces implicated in its extraction contributes in some way to the recognition of the damage done. The product is a phantasmagoric space neither merely material nor image, historical not contemporary. The talk presents past work as context: Transect, images harvested from the Greenwich Prime Meridian and projected at the Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich, UK in 2014; parallel, recorded along the 49th line of latitude, the border between the US and Canada, 2017; and Dominion, a meta-surveille of the impact on the prairie landscape of Canada’s 19th-century Dominion Land Survey, projected at the Forks National Historical Site, Winnipeg, Canada, in 2018). A similar concern with impacts of technologies of labour and image on the human body motivates smaller works presented as part of the SNMAA-ISEA2022. Finally the talk introduces a work in progress (Net), which addresses routes of the international shipping industry and its impact on landscapes around the world. Taken together these works intend to raise the question: who might live in such spaces? What kind of a Possible world, and citizen, might they represent?