The serene images of mapped ocean waters by photographer Alexander Burgess, one of this year’s shortlisted photographers in the Fresh Faced + Wild Eyed 2015 competition by The Photographers’ Gallery! He exhibits his project Shift Command Three which he had printed at theprintspace, showing at The Photographers’ Gallery until July 5.
(Image: Gulf, 2015)
I’m Alexander Burgess, a recent 2014 graduate from Camberwell College of Art, where I studied on the BA Photography course. I’m working in a studio just around the corner from theprintspace as part of an artist residency. I also work as a photography technician to pay the bills. In my creative practice, I am primarily interested in exploring the intangibility of digital spaces.
In FF+WE15 I am exhibiting 4 pieces from an ongoing series of editions called Shift Command Three.
Sermersooq b, 2015
The series focuses on the point in which the digital mapping services of Google, Apple and Microsoft stop documenting the sea, and instead start generating a new version of it. The appropriated material shifts from the photographic satellite imagery, to a fabricated simulation of ‘the sea’, a process conducted through averaging, cloning and repetition. Splitting apart the photographically documented from the manufactured in a perfectly delineated ‘horizon’, the images separate the two states, whilst also rendering a completely new simulated landscape.
They are presented as large scale fuji flex prints, which are then mounted onto aluminium.
I suppose I am quite a process-based artist, so a particular process itself often leads me to the creating pieces - I seem to continuously want a technical hurdle to jump over in some way. The other half of the time I feel I just get seduced by technology itself. I love exploring the manufactured worlds of video games, for example, to experience the veneered intricate worlds, with endless repetition and inconsistencies.
Gulf II, 2015
For this series, I was particularly interested in the idea of the map being this referent to the real world. The analogies of Jorge Borges’ (from On Exactitude in Science: a vision of a 1:1 scale map, which blocked out the sun, and upset the farmers) and Lewis Carroll (The Hunting of the Snark: an ‘ocean-chart’ which depicts the sea as a large blank space, failing to detail any land).
I will be continuing to make the odd new edition of shift command three. I have a few new projects to test the waters with soon, again dealing with virtual spaces and documenting them in a natively photographic way. Recently, I have been exploring with extracting true scale imagery from these mapping services, and producing them as 1:1 scale prints. I am also planning with my fellow studio artists to produce a group show later in the summer this year.
Please feel free to contact me about edition information, price lists, and any questions.
Art on a Postcard is a creative and innovative charity that theprintspace have been supporting for some years. They...