« The atlas is a book , a place where all the signs of the earth, from natural to cultural ones are conventionally represented: mountains, lakes , pyramids , oceans, cities, villages , stars , islands. In this totality of writing and description, we find the place where we live , where we want to go , the path to follow.»
Luigi Ghirri, Atlante, 1973
Inspired by this romantic and powerful image, we build our Atlas.
Google Street View is today used in different ways. From art projects to research in new media, passing through amateur journalism and civic activism. Possibilities, as well as paradoxes, that this tool creeps in all worlds listed above are many. In fact Street View is a powerful tool to explore places to 360 degree street level imagery, at a given time and year.
The Endless Atlas Project is a diary, a continuous and unconventional narrative made of images, categories, tags. In the augmented mapping developed by Google, our research starts from everyday life, from bar conversations, from the minimum stories of everyday life. It’s inspired by television shows, latest news, personal memories, pop culture in general. The results of this daily digital drift is a singular topographyc process.
Using another Photography, that of Google Street View, as an affordable and foreign to subjectivity point of view on the world , we expand day by day the digital database and the abacus of tags, which is also a phenotypic index of remarkable places in our Atlas. Inside this fragmented index, some images are also assigned to categories, which represent semantic routes, itineraries, projects into the project.
Within spatiality limits permitted by Google, The Endless Atlas Project tries to establish a cognitive photographic process, giving the visitor the opportunity to follow the suggested route but also the freedom to deviate from these.
Our Atlas is a method, it is for us the constant desire for discovery and the need to establish a love affair with geography . The continuous construction of an inner landscape and the attempt to represent it and to tell about it. To discover, or rediscover, finally, places we live, where we want to go, paths we will follow.
Antonello Colaps @ dopolavoro.org, Sept. 2013
For inspiration in research, Luigi Ghirri, Giuliana Bruno, Jon Rafman, Armin Linke, Roberta Valtorta.
All images are the property of Google or of its suppliers.