Digital Detritus Guernsey
This work is a video animation of a digital sculptural installation situated in the global mapping programme Google Earth. The work exploits Google Earth’s possibilities for user-generated content, using the backdrop of this ubiquitous mapping programme in an unexpected way. Whilst users of the facility might habitually add their own photographs of a place so that other users might get a clearer sense of it, this work does not aim to add accurate information about Guernsey as it exists now, but instead suggests an ambiguous vision of the future.
Computer-generated forms resembling Guernsey’s remaining military architecture and greenhouses hover over the island, and coloured three-dimensional skyscraper-shapes emerge on Guernsey’s surface, like a developer’s scheme for a few hundred years in the future. An accompanying soundtrack jumps in time with the twitching buildings, evoking a computer glitch. The two-minute long animation concludes with a view of the Bailiwick of Guernsey sitting in the English Channel, a mass of digital architectural forms hovering unstably above it as the landmasses of England and France remain static.
The work plays on Google Earth’s potential for virtual exploration of new places across the globe, instead inviting us to see from a new perspective and re-imagine a place that is extremely familiar.
Text courtesy of Lauren Barnes
Digital Detritus Guernsey was featured in 'Uncharted Island' @ thegreenhouse, Guernsey.