The Rendering Eye. Urban America Revisited

The Rendering Eye

Urban America Revisited

This attractive picture book introduces the reader to novel ways of depicting large cities using screenshots from the Apple Maps system program. The software makes it possible to ‘fly over’ cities, as it were, since it can generate any desired three-dimensional view of buildings and streets extremely quickly from an archive of aerial photos. Seen from close up, however, the seemingly film-like, realistic images often look like blurred paintings, and the book’s design takes this effect to an extreme, with extra-large reproductions of the screenshots seamlessly aligned one after the other. A profusion of disturbing details emerges, opening up an intermediate sphere between realistic depiction and poetic presentation. The book gives a material quality and permanence to a virtual pictorial world that only existed for a fleeting moment in the subjective gaze of the software user. The well-chosen illustration used for the cover is striking but refrains from revealing too much about the content.

Regula Bochsler, Philipp Sarasin, Zürich
Marietta Eugster, Zürich
Passavia Druckservice GmbH & Co. KG, Passau
Edition Patrick Frey, Zürich