Clement Valla is an artist and programmer based in Brooklyn, New York whose art explores the ways humans perceive the world through the computer lense. He is interested in processes that produce various glitches and unfamiliar artifacts that skew reality as we know it.
‘Postcards from Google Earth’ is an ongoing series of screenshots from Google Earth that captures such anomalies where the reality of the world around us is warped in unfamiliar ways. “I discovered strange moments where the illusion of a seamless representation of the Earth’s surface seems to break down,” Valla explained his work. The artist first thought that what he’d seen were actually glitches, but upon closer inspection realized they actually weren’t. “They are an edge condition—an anomaly within the system, a nonstandard, an outlier, even, but not an error,” Clement clarified. The skewed and floating look draws our attention to how the system, Google Earth, works and what processes happen when the maps are compiled. “These uncanny images focus our attention on that process itself, and the network of algorithms, computers, storage systems, automated cameras, maps, pilots, engineers, photographers, surveyors and map-makers that generate them” Valla added.