ROUNDABOUT SCULPTURE ON GOOGLE MAPS
Different from other projects of mine, #RoundaboutSculpture is a photographic typology project, focused on recording public art inside the roundabouts, all captured via GoogleMaps street view.
I’m originally from Beijing, and in 2018 I moved to Spain to live. There was one time I planned to visit a city in Spain called Ávila. I was checking Google Maps as usual and noticed in almost every roundabout of this city, there is a small sculpture. I got really fascinated and started to pay attention to those when I travel around. Then I did some research and took a quick look at other cities in Europe, found out there are many like this. This made me realize that roundabout sculptures might be an interesting category that is worth digging more into.
Through a great roundabout, you can roughly know the culture of this city. It’s like a city’s name card, representing the character of this place. Like what are they famous about, their religion, the local products, what happened in the war, and their aesthetics preference. Some are also pretty weird with great humor.
Facing the roundabout, drivers and pedestrians just pass by in a hurry, rarely stop for it. The various sculptures in roundabouts are worth seeing and being recorded. It is not very feasible to visit and photograph all of them one by one, so I decided to find them all on Google Maps and take screenshots of the street view.
Immerse me in the virtual world of the map, view it inch by inch, there is nothing in my mind as if entering a state of meditation. In two years, I have collected and archived more than 2000 roundabout sculptures.
There are many elements like roundabout are normally been easily neglected in our daily life. I want to collect and re-structure them in a typological way to present. It inspired me to observe our environment from a new perspective. For me, it’s a very obsessive and interesting game to play.
VIEW THIS PROJECT
ON INSTAGRAM :
△ Distribution of Roundabout Sculptures.
In addition to showing the real dense distribution of roundabout sculptures, this picture is also limited by the global coverage of Google Maps Street View itself. For example, in Africa, China, the Middle East, Germany, and many other regions, the data quality of Google Maps Street View is not ideal, so it is difficult to show.