Mar 12th 2021

The View from Above/Below

@ Heaven Gallery

1550 N Milwaukee Ave #2, Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Friday, March 12th, from 1PM - 6PM

On view through Sunday, April 25th

Open to the public between March 12th-April 25th (Mask required)
On view during gallery hours: Friday 1-6pm, Sunday 1-5pm
Artists: Hillary Wiedemann, Carla Fisher Schwartz, Erika Lynne Hanson

With the array of scientific and cartographic data made increasingly available through the public domain, our collective vision has expanded. The immediacy of digital technologies allows us to enter a remote landscape many miles, sometimes even light-years away, while physically remaining at home. Using information accessed through open-source media, such as Google Earth, United States National Park video feeds, and NASA satellite imagery, the work in The View from Above/Below alludes to our desire to extend our own vision, proposing new perspectives for viewing place and space.

Carla Fisher Schwartz’s work draws upon a practice of virtual exploration in Google Earth, culling street-level views that exploit technical glitches in the service’s 3D modeled map. Drawn from an ongoing collection of scenic compositions found within the map, the work catalogs natural forms as pictured through the simulated environment, with frequent visual dysfunctions often exposing the underlying framework of the virtual representation.

Erika Lynne Hanson watches public webcams located in US National Parks. The parks present entangled questions of wildness, ownership, cohabitation, and imposed boundaries. For this work, attention is paid to the various temporalities on view through the Arches National Park’s traffic camera: a mountain, a highway, a vehicle, or a traffic cone. Through sitting at a loom, pouring cement, or unjamming a printer, attempts are made to become closer with the inhabitants of this scene.

With a longing to gaze up at the stars, but an inability to do so in a light polluted city, Hillary Wiedemann uses imagery sourced online to explore the ever-expanding views of the cosmos. In this recent project, she investigates the particular upset over SpaceX’s Starlink satellites and their visual disruption to amateur and professional astrophotography. Using images sourced from the public domain, she translates the images to accentuate patterns to create a new set of potential constellations.

The work in this exhibition draws upon intuitively human processes rooted in the desire to understand our surroundings near and far, and to explore the unknown. These impulses lead to discoveries that are enmeshed in contemporary systems of surveillance, often resulting in views previously unimaginable, and often not entirely explainable or comfortable.

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