First prize at the Stockroom

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Greg Neville, Goog 2012

Span is the new exhibition at the Stockroom gallery in Kyneton, on the theme of ‘connection, distance and the passage of time.’

The exhibition was judged by Karen Woodbury, and I have won first prize, and a cheque for $3000!

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Greg Neville, GoooOg, 2012

These are the images that won, from a new project derived from Google Earth, of cities and their highways endlessly looping.

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GoooOg

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Greg Neville, GoooOg, 2012

The Stockroom gallery in Kyneton is holding an end of year show called Span, artists exploring connection, distance and the passage of time.

This image is one of two I’m putting in the show, from a new series derived from Google Earth satellite views of various cities. The images show highways endlessly looping in decorative patterns, a tapestry of roads, parks and suburbs.

Regional Victoria is not exactly blessed with private art galleries. Most of them show various degenerate forms of craft, what I called the ‘Artesque’, painting or sculpture that looks like art but is really kitsch. The Stockroom is one exception to this rule, its three spaces show work that might be seen in ‘serious’ galleries and project spaces in Melbourne.

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Google art

The biggest photographic endeavour in the world today must be Google Earth, an attempt to photograph the entire surface of the planet down to every street and house. As a resource of photographic images it is immense, an archive of the physical world that Borges might have dreamt up. This megalomaniac project is upsetting a lot of people as it intrudes further and further into our private realm. We might feel our privacy is threatened, but we can threaten other peoples’ privacy whenever we want, just by looking. The images are free, and freely accessible, a mark of the populist, democratic world we have created.

Google Earth is an opportunity for creativity. Perhaps it’s not creativity of a high order, but you can make images of your own just by searching. Sometimes it’s a matter of sifting for images, and sometimes it’s a technical glitch that produces one. You could think of it as a new art medium, but that might be going too far.

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A momentary delay in Google Earth transferring from satellite view to street view reveals strange worlds the software engineers never intended.

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