This body of work consists of a series of drawings sourced from Internet (Google) maps. The locations of the mapped images are based on two sets of addresses. For one set, I invited the public to submit anonymous mailing addresses of their choice. This is a random list, reflecting a range of locations, local and abroad. For the second set, I collected a number of addresses published in the newspaper – these range from local crime scenes to international sites of crises. Using these two lists of locations, I selected satellite images from the Internet as references for this body of work. When exhibited together, the two sources of addresses highlight similarities and differences that complicate the relationship between visual representations of place and their underlying associations; the location of a homicide may appear the same as images of random neighborhoods.
The project takes an interest in what we consider public or personal space within the Internet map, and the legibility of such images as visual markers of our surroundings. I am also investigating how these priorities shift when public safety is a concern. The satellite photo is commonly used by media to contextualize events and to notify communities of possible threats. While the sourced images are highly accessible, the drawings tread into private territory as they become tied to a personal place. The decision to draw the images by hand heightens the notion of surveillance with its deliberate scrutiny and study of a location. It also presents a tension between a constructed and existing reality.
Of all the drawings, I only title and identify one (Walnut Avenue – Jaycee Dugard) as the site of a crime. Media coverage of the kidnapping focused on the layout of the home and location as key to the years of concealment. In contrast, local coverage of more “minor” assaults or murders within the home would name general intersections or block numbers, showing less specificity. In these cases, the vague descriptions of local crime scenes heightened the similarities between the crime and non-crime locations. As I made more drawings, I stopped identifying which drawings were scenes of a specific crime – the inclusion of the one (Jaycee Dugard) drawing was enough to insinuate that the rest could potentially be a site of trauma.