Down to Earth
Jenny Odell’s arresting satellite art
When San Francisco-based artist Jenny Odell first discovered Google Earth, she took to trolling the virtual terrain for creative inspiration. What she found most interesting, however, was not one stand-alone image (though she did come across the world's largest KFC logo) but rather the bevy of recurring shapes--grain silos, baseball diamonds, salt ponds--that such a bird's-eye view reveals.
Turning this discovery into art, Odell created "The Satellite Collections"--a series of themed collages devoted to aerial shots of natural or manmade landmarks.
We love the character and emotion each piece evokes. 125 Swimming Pools, for instance, drops in on bathing spots ranging from Vegas hotels to Odell's childhood home--and the bright, azure result is vibrant and joyous. 144 Empty American Parking Lots, on the other hand, is a deeply haunting visualization of human infrastructure minus the people.
Four of Odell's "Satellite" pieces can be purchased on affordable art site 20x200 (ranging from $20 to $500, by size), though you can also contact the artist directly to purchase two- or three-foot square prints of any piece ($1,000 to $1,500).
Want to see the collection in person? It's currently--and aptly--installed at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California.