Since the invention of Google Earth we’ve been able to see many strange things: heart-shaped land formations, guitar-shaped forests, and strange patterns in the desert. But some of the oddest images seen through Google Earth don’t physically exist.
Brooklyn-based artist Clement Valla has been collecting screenshots from Google Earth that are nothing short of mind-bending. The ongoing project Postcards from Google Earth is a collection of nearly 100 photos that look like real-life M.C. Escher paintings.
The images capture melting forests, levitating highways, and gravity-defying oceans. Although you may want to call these images glitches within the system, the artist insists they are not.
“They are the absolute logical result of the system. They are an edge condition—an anomaly within the system, a nonstandard, an outlier, even, but not an error.”
As Valla explains, “Google Earth is a database disguised as a photographic representation.” These distorted images are the result of dissonance between depth views on 3D models and aerial photographs.
The artist refers to these abnormalities as “seams” drawing attention to the software that makes these images possible. These seams allow us to see the world in a new light, “as dynamic, ever-changing data from a myriad of different sources – endlessly combined, constantly updated, creating a seamless illusion.”
It’s a good thing Valla thought to save these images because as time passes, Google Earth’s technology is solving these issues, bringing levitating bridges back down to Earth.