• Jeffrey James Campbell, Hawaii, 2012, Digital
  • Jeffrey James Campbell, The Salton Sea, 2012, Digital
  • Jeffrey James Campbell, Field, 2012, Digital
  • Jeffrey James Campbell, Niagara, 2012, Digital
  • Jeffrey James Campbell, Field, Detail, 2012, Digital

For over half a century satellite and aerial images have been used as tools to study and observe the world. Governments and scientists alike have utilized this perspec­tive to reveal information that was previ­ously inaccessible from the surface. Most people today will recognize this perspec­tive, not as an instrument of espionage or science, but rather for its contemporary use as a digital mapping and navigational tool. These images, made available via the Internet, consist of millions of aerial and satellite photographs stitched together into a single orthorectified database that encompasses the entire surface of the planet.

In this series I approach these databases as purely photographic documents. I turn off the navigational information and in a manner similar to the original creation of the source images, I am able to explore the surface, capturing slices and appropriating them for my own purpose. This work focuses on the ways in which the photgraphic image can inform and mislead. Although more people today are aware of the potential for photographic manipulation than at any other time in history, advances in technology continue to outpace the ability of the viewer to comprehend discrepancies. The images presented in this series are completely fabricated. They are digital photomontages of hundreds of appropriated images. When viewed in the context of digital maps they shed their composited characteristics and convey a seemingly pictorial truth, if only for a moment. Thus, not only questioning the nature of our relationship to digital images, but also our traditional understanding of photography itself, and by proxy the world.

Wanaque, NJ