Johan F. Karlsson
The Great Wall
18.2. – 5.3.2017
Galleria Huuto Jätkäsaari – Pikkujätkä
The exhibition The Great Wall aims to acknowledge our participation in todays image culture and its influence on a place. In Google maps, the Great Wall of China is shaped by the tourists photographic geotags that create a pattern of dots throughout the accessible parts of the wall. From this aerial perspective, each dot in the work represents the location of each individual. The Great Wall proposes a view of our collective use of photography and simultaneously demonstrates a result of mass tourism.
As individuals repeatedly leave traces of their journeys, a detailed history of presence evolves in a seamless flow of images. This is one example of the mergence of digital footprints and abstract form of mapping service. With our shared access of aerial navigation, we can identify ourselves leaving behind various patterns during our lifetimes. The images have the ability to share experiences publicly and the terrain and identity of the historical place is consumed both physically and remotely.
In the work, these aerial views of the geotags have been recreated in the form of star constellations in reference to traditional means of orientation. In the past we observed the stars and the sun’s position as main source to understand time, as well as our location in the world. The work offers a perspective of peering down on us as users of the digital environment and as the untiring performers of the photographic medium.