Dropping in on Bombing Ranges
WITH LITTLE IMPACT
PHOTOGRAPHY, INTERPRETATION AND BOMBING RANGES was the subject of an exhibit shown in the CLUI space in Los Angeles, March 30-August 5, 2018. Called On Targets: Dropping in on American Bombing Ranges, it was a research project first and foremost; an inventory of training ranges around the country, presented as a photographic installation, that looked at the act of looking, and the ways of seeing.
The show featured 14 framed images of circular targets at 14 different impact ranges, from coast to coast. The images, though, were not really photographs, but were high resolution screen grabs from Google Earth, selected for their aesthetic as well as graphic and contextual qualities from among hundreds of targets at dozens of locations, discovered by research and searching, scanning the online grounds of suspect areas, for bullseye targets to zoom in on.
The process of searching for targets, by scrolling over the online digiscape, finding them, evaluating them, and then isolating them as an image, printing, mounting, and framing, seemed to parallel the act of flying over the actual ground, looking for targets in space. And the act of looking at them on the wall, isolated, singled out, a frame around a mat, around an image of concentric circles within circles, shrinking to a central point, a crosshair marking a middle, like a gunsight, like a lat/long, coordinates on a digital or cartographic grid, marking a spot, exactly there, but also not there at all, instead in the analog of digital space.
But more there, too, as this thing, this target, would not even be discoverable, or at least visible, without this new digitized globe, that reveals all, in its limited way, making things that were there, but not there, too—but either way, in every way, On Target. ♦