Olivo Barbieri has spent 10 years making artfully distorted aerial photos of 40 cities around the globe, creating twisted viewpoints of familiar sites that make sly reference to modern art. Although he gained attention early on with a tilt-shift technique that makes real locations look like models, his photos go beyond gimmickry into the realm of philosophy.
“I asked myself what could happen if I detached from earth and I used a flying object such as a helicopter,” says Barbieri, whose first language is Italian. “After September 11th I wanted to understand what you feel when you turn upside down your point of view: From a threatened terrestrial being to a flying and threatening object.”
His work is available as a photobook called Site Specific. The title is taken from contemporary art, where it refers to a temporary installation that is specific to its location. To reinterpret the idea of site specific, he says, “I wanted to get away from the world, from the noises, sounds and words. I wanted to represent the world as a temporary installation in transition, and a possibility that only art gives us, consider it unreal, unfinished, in order to be able to interpret it, judge it, change it.”
It makes me so happy when computers from the future in movies have relatively accurate interfaces.
Glad to see they still use some form of linux shell and and modified assembly in 2154