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(Text by Zsolt Miklósvölgyi)


In the history of mankind, lookout points has always been played a significant role in the process of culturalization. These orientation points as venues that ideal for the contemplation of the surrounding environment are simultaneously turning the sight into a landscape and into an observer the viewer. These special points are also appropriate to parcel, articulate and transform the incoordinated relief of the landscape into a distinct geographical context. Thus, the lookout points are always the birthplaces both of the structured geographical consciousness and of the structured geographical terrain. It is not a coincidence that Roland Barthes remarked that anyone who looks down to Paris from the Eiffel-tower, already "makes structuralism" with one's own eyes. Or rather, the visitors are always already (re)framing that certain spectacle, that was composed both from and to this viewpoint. Therefore, the lookpoints are not only manifestos of the self-realization of the observer, but also its alienation from the view. This particular relation is best displayed in C. F. Friedrich's famous painting, where a solitary wanderer in his urban outfit looks through the misty landscape that spreads under his feet. He does not measure himself with nature that represented as a confused entity, but with the horizon that is more suitable for incarnating the subliminal. This is the way how that certain paradigm of the observer that is uprooted and alienated from the sight was born. That peculiar conception what technologically and culturally foremost culminated in the cartesian paradigm of the camera obscura, but which has already been constituted by the "peephole metaphysics" (Theodor W. Adorno) of western thinking and eventuated a special paradoxity: the more sophisticated observational techniques are available to the observer, the more it seems to loose the relationship with the observed object.

Conversely, the Geoscape both as a cultural metaphor and as a discursive object aims to recommend an alternative way how this paradigm could be exceeded. The Geoscape as a lookout point simultaneously composes the surrounding environment into a landscape and locates its geography in an earth historical, or "geostorical" (Bruno Latour) context. Therefore the Geoscape is capable to enrich the self-reflection of the observer with the consciousness of the anthropocene. According to this, "behind" the spatial and temporal dimensions of the everyday human life (corresponding to the robustness of the materiality), a deeper structure of time and space consciousness trails, that is capable of opening up a width of our existence.


"Geoscape" (mixed media installation, size variable) 2014 (Tihany, HU)


(acrylic transfer on plaster, each 40x40cm) 2014

(Photos: Gábor Kristóf)

© Mark Fridvalszki 2008 - 2017
Last Revision: 26 - 01 - 2016