Zoom Out: Jenny Odell's Google Satellite View Art

Jenny Odell uses the technology of Google Satellite View and Google Street View to make art.

While most artists focus on getting as close as possible to what they're capturing, Jenny Odell is content to study her subjects from thousands of miles away. Odell uses the technology of Google Maps to make her art, whether its the colorful, patterned terrain of Google Satellite View or the block-by-block faux-urbanism of Google Street View.

In fact, Odell used manipulated Google Street View images to create a travelogue of a virtual roadtrip—a trip she never actually went on. The book, Travel By Approximation, compiles "photos" of her at various locations combined with reviews, details, and information from hotels and restaurants, all culled from websites without leaving the comfort of her own home.

The reason we're telling you about this today is that Odell's 195 Yachts, Barges, Cargo Lines, Tankers, and Other Ships is currently being showcased on this week's 20x200, the affordable art project by Jen Bekman (who has written about the importance of affordable art for us before). It was not an easy task collecting these almost 200 boats lovingly snipped them from our global fabric: Odell spends hours scouring the earth to locate appropriate subjects for her pieces.

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