About the work

This piece was created to photographically map and archive, through a series of postcards, the virtual growth of the city of Paris as it was developed on Google Earth. The 3D rendering allowed for fly-through visits to my hometown and became an ersatz in times of homesickness. The project was time-sensitive, since with every visit more of Paris appeared built. I documented the landscape’s transformation from a wasteland to the ghostly shell of the city I know.

Wandering in Paris has a well-known and cataloged history from the flaneurs to the Situationists. This particular city came into existence through the contributions of hundreds of architects who, more or less lovingly, modeled the buildings one by one. What determined their choice of subject seemed to be a combination of the challenge (or ease) the building presented, the importance it holds in the city, or personal attachment. Many buildings were painstakingly reproduced while others only exist as grey blocks covered in rough photo-stitching.

The cyanotypes evoke the blue of far-off landscapes. Each card bore thoughts in French about distance, photography, memory, history. They were mailed to me from Paris, picking up grime, marks and dents through travel from their real-life counterpart. The blue wall-text created both topographic detail and a horizon-line in the space, while providing a translation of the words.