Gorgon Stare
Jardins de Metis International Garden Festival 13th Edition
Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens, Grand-Métis, QC, Canada, December 2012

The unfailing and unregistered observation of the earth by high altitude aerial means has been responsible for the shift in the primary mode of representation of the landscape from perspectival to planometric. This shift has facilitated much of our ecological understanding of systems and processes covering vast territories beyond what was previously perceptible to the ground based human observer, but it has also separated the observer from the phenomenon. 

For many, the initial and most accessible means to experience landscape is mediated via software such as Google Earth or Bing Maps. Increasingly this is also the first source of contact that an individual will have with an unfamiliar organization. For a tourist, customer, client, the first impressions of an organization is often an aerial view of their physical location, as the individual maps access. How many visitors to the International Garden Festival first saw the site online via aerial imagery before being physically present on the ground?

This deceptively simple installation activates an unused area of the Reford garden site to acknowledge the omnipresent aerial imaging of the earth via satellite and seeks to begin a lasting dialogue with the visitor on how this shapes their lives. Sourced from freely available local materials, the typographical mounds pile up and house habitat for local species and encourage play and exploration for visitors.
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