Joan Fontcuberta uses Google to create large photo-mosaics that comment on the internet-era's liaisons between mass media and our collective consciousness. The artists lets the image search engine blindly cull images from the internet by controlling only the search engine criteria with the input of specific key words. The Google-selected images are then assembled into a larger image of Fontcuberta's choosing, displaying challenging relationships between words and pictures.
Fontcuberta's concept focuses on the deft juxtaposition of search-engine criteria against the larger image those criteria comprise. Tiny portraits of the richest men and women in the world are pieced together into a mosaic depicting a homeless man; the iconic image of detainee tortured at Abu Ghraib is cobbled together out of images of public officials involved in the scandal.
As the artist notes, the internet itself is "the supreme expression of a culture which takes it for granted that recording, classifying, interpreting, archiving and narrating in images is something inherent in a whole range of human actions, from the most private and personal to the most overt and public."
Zabriskie Gallery in New York exhibits the photographic installation through March 11, 2006. Images.