Clement Valla

United States (1971)
Festival Images Vevey
Postcards from Google Earth

For his Postcards from Google Earth series, Clement Valla collected screenshots of roads, bridges and dams photographed by Google’s satellites. The software is not always able to interpret these tridimensional structures, hence their shape appears deformed and flattened to the Earth’s surface. By presenting a world distorted via the prism of computer algorithms, the artist addresses the inability of such artificial intelligence to reproduce the exact landscape and its constructions. Visitors could walk over the pictures displayed on giant platforms set at different levels, thus giving them the same overhead viewpoint as a satellite. They could then experiment with the discrepancies between reality as seen by the machine and that which the human eye perceives.