Monday, August 16, 2010

Opening Day - "A View Without a Room"

Jenny Odell's "A View Without a Room" opened today, prompting visitors to share their thoughts about collections as craft and obsession. An impromptu discussion of the Google Satellite Universe sprouted from one circle of admirers who happened to be frequent users of satellite view. Several onlookers admired the care and skill with which the individual found items were arranged and laid out on the page.

Please note that we will be having a tour of the gallery at 7pm on August 20th, where you can see the show and meet the artist as well as mingle with other visitors. Contact us if you are interested in attending.

About the Show:
Thus the life of the collector manifests a dialectical tension between the poles of disorder and order.
—Walter Benjamin

A View Without a Room is a collection of collections, in that each print houses a selection of things cut out from Google Satellite View—whether that be swimming pools, parking lots, or sections of the Great Salt Lake. Though geographically, they represent a vast (if fragmented) amount of landscape, the collections carry with them the feelings of smallness, vulnerability, and nostalgia that I find inherent in satellite imagery. These prints are, one the one hand, collapsed pictures of my own disoriented wanderings through the endlessness of a scanned world—endlessly scrolling, endlessly zooming in. But they are also (as in any collection) acts of love. In accumulating, cutting out, and ordering each piece of satellite imagery, I have fixed them here against the perpetual tide of updated satellite pictures and the ephemerality of the internet.

About the Artist:
Jenny Odell grew up in the Bay Area and studied at UC Berkeley and The New School in New York. She completed an MFA in Design and Technology at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she was awarded a graduate fellowship and honored as the school's top design graduate of 2010. Much of her work--including her MFA project, "Travel by Approximation"-- explores the (dis-)connection between virtual space and lived experience and involves a particular fascination with Google's mapping technologies. Her prints, books, and videos have been featured on KQED and exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; she is currently part of a group show that the VASF Gallery and will be performing her ongoing Ministry of Approximate Travel in an upcoming show at Root Division. Jenny lives and works as a designer in San Francisco.

Do come visit mauve? to see "A View Without a Room," and also go see Jenny's work at Root Division and VASF. You can find out more about her and her work at her website,, and her blog, You can preview the "Travel by Approximation" book here.

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