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Lonely Planet: A guidebook to the Silicon Valley and the Internet


Lonely Planet: A guidebook to the Silicon Valley and the Internet
Katja Stuke

120 pages
12.7 x 20.4cm
Ed. 150 copies, numbered

For Katja Stuke, the camera is never just a machine for depicting reality. Instead it is a problematic instrument when it comes to coping with worlds of images. This explains why her new small publication is both a guidebook, an ironic commentary, and a small low-key artist’s book in the tradition of Ed Ruscha and his self-published books. Using generic and generated images to study the invisibility of major Internet companies such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo, Stuke has produced a slim soft-cover book with black-and-white photographs and short texts. In addition to the pictures Stuke made in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, there are also images extracted from the Internet: portraits of Google employees, outside views of the headquarters of the major players, simulated pictures from The Sims 2, and satellite images. The reader gradually learns more about these pictures, their sources and their content through subheadings and information provided about locations and the individual companies. As Paul Virilio once said about the nature of knowledge in the Internet age, the seeds of the apple are now found on its skin. Netizens can use this tightly edited book to explore those seeds and the manifestations and new topographies of the Web. (FOAM 2010, Sebastian Hau)