Postcards from Google Earth is a series of screenshots artist Clement Valla took from Google Earth. These uncanny landscapes document technical anomalies in the software, which uses a technology called texture mapping. Like patterned wrapping paper covering a plain white box, a texture map is a flat image applied to a 3D model, thereby adding detail, color and surface texture.
Chicago-based artist Christopher Meerdo’s image titled Spore is currently on display at the Union League Club of Chicago. Spore is composed of 250 images of explosions appropriated from Google image search. He noted the Internet somehow levels meaning attached to the events, sometimes making it difficult to distinguish between celebrations and terror. Meerdo: “The title Spore refers not only to the formal shape of the image I produced, but also points to the scientific understanding of microorganisms which can self-replicate unaided. This becomes a sort of linguistic metaphor when linking this with the self-replicating nature of memetic culture.”
It is surprising how static the image appears, as if utterly frozen in time, given that it is an amalgam of 250 images that are by definition some of the most dynamic that you can find. The suggestion is of human strife, under the microscope. Spore is a world unto itself, where destruction (negation) forms a new, round world. It is an ending, or a volatile beginning?
Spore, by Christopher Meerdo, 2011