3D print of Google Earth Data
“The 3 D Google Earth data of the Swiss mountain Piz Linard in the Engadine region —generated on March 13, 2023 — are printed as a 3D maquette and presented on a pedestal. A three-dimensional snapshot in color of Google data retrieved in the past, it represents this mountain of data as a sublime landscape modeled from light and shadow.”
Karin Sanders' seemingly technical description of this newly produced work «Piz Linard», bares two poetic hints. The first: It is printed from data from the past and brought from a virtual past into an actual spatial presence. And it presents a sublime landscape modelled from light and shadow. With its 3410 m height Piz Linard is one of the highest peaks of the region and thrones like guardian with its nearly perfect pyramidal form over the Engadin valley, close to famous places like St. Moritz and Davos. The Sublime as opposed to the Beautiful was a romantic shudder that early tourist experienced in the face of mountains as they had the power to compel and destroy them. With the size here reduced to an object rather than a monument, it enters the scale of the well formed and aesthetically pleasing Beautiful. This Romantic Sublime pleasantly terrifying feeling first described in 1757 by Edmund Burke, a contemporary of Rousseau and Kant, formed our understanding of aesthetics today. Piz Linard is also watching over the place where as a late philosophical consequence almost of this notion, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morals, The Twilight of the Idols and among many other works also parts of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and The Gay Science in both the sentence «God is Dead», that unleashed a new modernist metaphysic.
While Karin Sander presented 3D body scans and prints since 1997 all around the world, this series of peaks started during the pandemic. During that time Sanders worked with the Hybrid Reality Research Group of her Chair of Art and Architecture on notions of virtual and augmented reality home offices and meta-tourism. While these would transport us to other beautiful and sublime places, the peaks series originating in the metaverse the sublime is potentially brought to one's home - in a highly compacted form.
Text: Adrian Notz