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Parallel

Parallel 

Lawrence Bird / Canada
University of Manitoba
vimeo.com/lawrencebird

A continuous video of moving satellite imagery captured along the 49th parallel, the Canada/US border, “parallel” mobilizes imagery from Google Earth’s historical database to expose discrepancies in the archived image of the planet. As one follows the pan, anomalies in the image become apparent: digital artifacts having to do with when a given area came under the eye of a satellite, and at what resolution. As the virtual camera moves, the physical border appears, disappears, is replaced and displaced by both geographical features and media artifacts.

Blurrings, double exposures, seams between satellite tiles, images from different seasons or times, all create a parallel landscape with its own boundaries, topography, areas of density and intensity. Digital and material realms mingle, charged with the politics of two nations and the legacy of colonial epistemology. Soundtrack comprises found audio, and ambient sound from ISS and an MQ-9 Reaper drone. 

“parallel” is an evolving, frequently updated project. Previous iterations have been screened at: Coder et Decoder la Frontiere, Anti-Atlas of Borders, Université Libre de Bruxelles (April – May 2016) Once is Nothing, Inter/Access Gallery, Toronto (Feb. 2015); Movable Borders Furtherfield Gallery, London, UK (May 2013), Another Atlas, RAW:Gallery of Architecture & Design, Winnipeg (April, 2013).