Sometimes, Google Maps throws up some striking imagery. Now, David Thomas Smith has seized on some of the more striking elements to create a series of artworks that combine satellite images with inspiration from traditional Persian rug-making. The results are stunning.
Smith’s first solo show, called Anthropocene, shows off eight such works, each as complex and striking as the next. In the words of Cooper House Gallery, where the works are on show:
Anthropocene itself reflects upon the complex structures that make up the centres of global capitalism, transforming the aerial landscapes of sites associated with industries such as oil, precious metals, consumer culture information and excess. Thousands of seemingly insignificant coded pieces of information are sown together like knots in a rug to reveal a grander spectacle. Questions of photographic and economic realities are further complicated through the formal use of patterns that have their origins in the ancient civilizations of Persia. This work draws upon the patterns and motifs used by Persian rug makers, especially the way Afghani weavers use the rug to record their experiences more literally with vivid images of the war torn land that surrounds them. This collision between the old and the new, fact and fiction, surveillance and invisibility, is part of a strategy to reflect on the global order of things.
Whether you absorb all of that from these images or not, there’s no denying that they’re stunning pieces. The exhibition is currently on display at the Cooper House Gallery in Dublin, Ireland.