Ever since the events of 9/11, airplanes and airports have taken on a different significance within the context of contemporary society. They are places of extreme potential danger, heightened security and racial profiling. They have become a sort of battleground between those who governments have deemed as a threat to society and those who are fighting that perceived threat. However, airports are also a monument to the alleged success of our technological, capitalist society. The airport has become a metaphor for the ultimate strength and weakness in contemporary life.
Keeping this in mind, the images are inherently talking about issues of accessibility. These easily found and printed satellite images of the supposed ‘battlegrounds’ of terrorism shows the tension between freedom of accessibility and the power of having accessibility. For these images play on the notion of power — how much power do we have and how much do we give out, albeit unknowingly, to those who would harm us? Where do we reach the balance between freedom and human rights, security and imprisonment?
But one cannot deny the additional layer of, simply, the aesthetics of these images. Airports, by necessity, are naturally framed by their surroundings. The linear patterns created by the runways dominate their landscape in a way that cannot be seen from any vantage point except from directly above. The composition becomes, from a distance, a painterly abstraction; however, it also rewards the viewers who spend time looking at the details.
This project was completed in 2008. All prints are available for purchase. For sizes, pricing or more information, please contact me.