> Make this my start location.

Latitude: 51°9’13.18”N Longitude: 0°10’55.43”W Range: 58m Eye alt. 1.05

Gatwick Airport > Search >

As the camera pans across the landscape to Gatwick Airport we settle in an area away from the main terminal, just to the right of the control tower. The landscape here is littered with a pale yellow scattering of what appears to be long skeletal vehicles, ready for loading and transporting. To either side are two airplanes sat quietly opposite each other. As I move over and above the control tower the colour of this structure changes, indicating more information is available. I click the tower and have immediate access to an uploaded photograph and 3dmodel.

The photograph was uploaded to the location on August 30, 2008. 25404 views. No comments, favourites or likes. 93 total views in the last 30 days. The image shows the sky sitting heavily over the runway as a virgin aircraft has either just landed or is about to take off. The control tower has shifted to the right of the screen. The bottom half of the image shows the reflection of the window in which the camera must be pointing from. In comparison with this image, the uploaded 3d model of the tower is presented on a flat green background, isolated and removed from its surrounding landscape. We are given permission to download the model and take it way from its original context. Through manipulation of scale, color and surface the tower could act as starting point for a completely new form and placed into a different landscape. A number of camera angles are available to view the model. The isonometric option allows the model and the original landscape in which it belongs to be reunited. The contrasting visualities of the computer generated model and the photorealist landscape are placed alongside each other allowing them to be viewed simultaneously.

Back to Google Earth >. I drag the orange street view man across the landscape to the main terminal. Here we hover over the top of the buildings where the blue street view indictor is visible and where we (myself and the orange man) think it might reveal an interesting space. Where exactly I land is a process of chance, an approximate location. I zoom out to gain a clearer look at the whole landscape and reposition myself near to the main terminals. The ground here is much busier, densely filled with rows of white blocks and coloured rectangles, representing the airport buildings and cars parked around and in-between the spaces. The main terminal fits neatly into the grey brown geometry of the landscape. From above the building appears as an inflatable silver cushion or airbed, inviting us for a soft landing. As we get closer to the surface the camera suddenly shifts direction with no warning, and we enter the terminal building.

I am inside the terminal. The space is relatively empty with just a cluster of people seemingly in a group, packed closely together holding and guarding their luggage in-front of the lines of check in desks. The reflections of luggage and the yellow street view lines interrupt the silver gloss of the terminal floor. I follow the yellow line to see where it leads me. Ghostly figures come in and out the space. They are almost transparent, followed by their repeated shape, which suggests their previous position and movement in the space. Objects such as furniture and signage move in and out of the shot, framing the blurred faces of the figures who have no identity. Directly in-front of me is a set of stairs and an escalator. I try to move forward to see what is on the higher level. As I creep forwards a group of people appear from nowhere. Distorted signage flashes across the screen breaking up as I readjust my position. I try and move again and the people have disappeared, double-click and they are back again. It seems I am not allowed to go up to that higher level. I continue to move slowly without purposefully changing direction. The interior is revealed through a sequence of photographs which have been apparently stitched together to create the illusion of a ‘real’ three dimensional space. However as we pass by the photographs become fragmented and detached from each other. The images separate themselves from their adjoining image and temporarily appear as though they are floating in space, not attached to any kind of formal structure, searching for a place to settle.






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