Hic Sunt Leones, video stills, 2 channel video, 2012 © Natalia Trejbalova, Jonathan Gobbi, Marco Furlani, Giulia Liberti, Matteo Nobile
SITUATION #27: Natalia Trejbalova, Jonathan Gobbi, Marco Furlani, Giulia Liberti, Matteo Nobile, Hic Sunt Leones, 2012
5 December 2015 – 31 January 2016
In the world of Google Maps and Google Street View, images are stitched together endlessly, apparently removing the borders of photographs. In what Ingrid Hoelzl calls the “total image,” the viewer travels from one image to the next without ever being stopped by the obstacle of the frame, transported instead through a dynamic transition.
Hic Sunt Leones attempts to reveal these boundaries and to show that while the gap between Google’s photographic spaces may seem to have disappeared, it is merely being “stitched,” camouflaged with pixelation and filled with digital artifacts. This is the new terra incognita of the digital image database, where the picture vanishes into an array of non-decodable pixels, placeholders for yet-to-be-mapped regions, simulacra of visual meanings, temporary buffers, legendary creatures that inhabit the mirrored view of our streets.
In the artists’ words, “digital glitches in Google Street View reveal the artificiality of what looks like an impermeable, seamless real-size picture of the world,” a world that “can’t afford black holes.”
“What in ancient times […] was represented with a symbol of the danger of the unknown – lion or dragon – resurfaces now as glitch, structural error that generates nonexistent forms […]. Lions are there after all, as the inevitable consequence of the rules of the game, the unexpected result of the lack of data.”