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All the People on Google Earth
digital prints
2011

Thus Google Earth's allure derives not only from its capacity for high-resolution ... but also from high-dissolution.
--Paul Kingsbury and John Paul Jones III, "Walter Benjamin's Dionysian Adventures on Google Earth"

All the People on Google Earth is an ongoing series of modified snapshots of crowds found on Google Earth, with everything but the people (and their attendant blankets, umbrellas, dogs, etc.) removed. The angle reveals each person's shadow, which is often the only thing that identifies a particular shape as a person at all. Occasionally we may see a leg thrust out in the act of walking; there are suggestions of tennis-playing movements. In All the People in Dolores Park, the only sign of order is the bathroom line in the middle of the park. Otherwise the people exist on the very limit of the recognizable, dissolved into pixels. Seeing ourselves this way calls up the strangeness of a world in which we take for granted the ubiquity of (often unmanned) cameras and the proliferation of our own images, unbeknownst to us. But more importantly, something authentic about us is captured, if peripherally or by accident. In this context, a non-human photographer -- the satellite -- has taken a picture in which people have never looked more like people.

Click each image for a larger version.


All the People in Dolores Park

All the People in on Pier 39

All the People on Baker Beach


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