When An Artist Toys With Google Earth, The World Becomes A Geometric Playground

Manipulated Satellite Photos Reveal A Multicolored Universe Exploding With Geometry

"There are many ways of traveling. With the body. With the mind. Moving physically or not moving at all. You can move around thousands of kilometers without traveling, or move the body while the mind is stuck in the starting point."

Such is the reality of movement, according to Argentina-based photographer Federico Winer. His series, "Ultradistancia," channels this whimsical understanding of travel into a stunning art project, turning the world into a petri dish of colors and shapes that requires no migration at all. In fact, his series is based on the capabilities of Google Earth's satellite camera, a seemingly omnipresent technology that allows Winer -- a veteran traveler in his own right -- to scour the planet's landscapes without ever leaving the comfort of his glowing computer screen.


To create his geometrically mesmerizing snapshots, he plays around on the internet quite a bit -- or, in his words, takes long Google Earth trips. He hovers over neighborhoods and landmarks, busy routes and tranquil fields, in order to find something that piques his interest. He experiments with different magnitudes, reframing and recomposing his portrait subjects. Then he begins manipulating the images, playing with color and luminosity until a beautifully distorted photo emerges.


It's easy to fall inside one of Winer's kaleidoscopes, that combine the chaos of super highways with the eerie abandon of farmlands or cargo shipments. Winer emphasizes the patterns that happen organically across the globe, infusing each aerial view with saturated pigments and selective perspectives. "Common landmarks resembles paintings and topography explodes in rare colors," he explains.

"We've known for a long time that what we see is not what it is," he continued in an email exchange with HuffPost. Winer is also a professor of political philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires, and his descriptions of "Ultradistancia" often wander into musings. "Basically, because we don’t know what is what it is, we only know what we see. And we call that ‘the world.'"

The quotes in this article has been edited for clarity.

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