In this day and age, the ubiquity of satellite imagery has left the realm of science fiction, and has moved into the commonplace. As a child of the nineties, I remember revelling in the fear experienced by characters in movies as they tried to escape the ever seeing eye of Big Brother, how something hundreds of miles away in space can pinpoint a zit on your face, and then pop it with a nuclear weapon. Today, however, with the advent of things like Google Earth, these world images are as part of our human condition as radio, print, or television. In this respect, it also has the potential, like these other media, to used as a venue for artistic expression. This is where the art of Jenny Odell comes in. While simple in composition, the items and places in her collages found on Google Earth range from the odd to the mindlessly mundane, but never lose their visual interest. Each piece reminds us of the enormity of our human biome, and the physical mark that we leave with our love of parking lots, baseball fields, swimming pools, and landfills. However you feel about the implications of these facts, Odell's work forces us to reexamine our world from a different view, which is more than most people can say they've done before their second coffee on a Tuesday morning.
Landfills (my favorite)
Empty Parking lots
Silos and Water towers
All of these works and more can be found at Jenny Odell's website: