Elizabeth Eisenstein


Silver-Gelatin Print (16" x 20"), 2014

"Marquees" is a series of black and white silver-gelatin prints created from screenshots taken within Google Street View, specifically from church signs found throughout middle America.  The series presents the language of what is often referred to as "the heart of America,” but taken out of context and manipulated to the point of near-abstraction.  Because Google rephotographs streets with varying degrees of frequency, the text from these marquees acts as a relic of the recent past—a glimpse back to a specific point in time when a certain moralistic phrase was deemed particularly relevant to the community.   

This project is a continuation of an open-ended exploration of Google Street View's digital landscape.  Instead of applying an artistic eye to the physical outside world, I have chosen Google’s seamless visual map as my photographic terrain, and shed my camera altogether in favor of appropriating and altering the imagery of this alternate reality.  While I originally appropriated images directly from Google Street View’s interface and presented them as classic landscape photographs, the images in this series have been modified, transformed, and mutated after their initial capture.  The end results are cameraless silver-gelatin prints created from an ephemeral and ever-changing digital landscape.