Week 4 | Forum Posts

Post 1: Week 4 Forum

The example I have chosen is the Satellite Landscapes project by Jenny Odell. Currently reading her book ‘Hot to do Nothing’ which is a type of critique of the attention economy created by social media. The Satellite Landscapes project as Odell (2015)  suggests is ‘ a place whose existence feels peripheral to immediate experience, geographically, psychologically, or both’. Her ideas often comment on the way that technology has a power to create distance between people and human experience highlighting that as technology develops the impact is to remove more and more of the humanity between people. I really identify with her intentions and consider her work to be unusual while forward thinking and intelligent.

Post 2: Week 4 Activity

Continuing the theme I spoke of in the first task of this week in relation to the Jenny Odell’s 2015 project, ‘Satellite Landscapes’. Odell suggests ‘The peripheral nature of satellite landscapes, then, has as much to do with repression as it does with distance, the hiding of visual traces, or habituation.’ What most intrigues is the idea of ‘habituation’ as it was a word I was unfamiliar  with. I often find myself faced with new terminology and feel that developing a language to speak about photography is important as a personal goal.

I used Google Earth to explore the surrounding areas and communities of the football grounds I have visited. I felt that the images may be interesting and provide visual clues regarding the infrastructure of these places. Saying something about their importance, their local industries etc.  However by the time I had found the 5th image, the landscapes started to become familiar and slightly banal. 

In considering the idea of ‘photographic freedom’ Flusser (2000) comments ‘Freedom is the strategy of making chance and necessity subordinate to human intention, freedom is playing against the camera’.  In this sense, I consider this a central theme to the Jenny Odell projects I have researched such as Satellite Landscapes. In making work such as this, the impact of the work in a conventional sense isn’t the main concern. I feel that the use of google earth in this context represents a piece of activism as it highlights a technology we all have access to but wouldn’t think of using to include in a creative project.

Flusser, V. (2000) Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Reaktion Books, London.

Odell, J. (2015) Satellite Landscapes [online] Available at: http://www.jennyodell.com/satellite-landscapes-book.html (Links to an external site.) (Accessed 23 June 2020)

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