CROSSINGS: Promenades in the Arabian Desert



Using screenshots from Google Maps, Denmark-based Arko Datto (b. 1986, India) takes us on a walk through the Arabian desert. While the boundaries between sourced images and camera-based images continues to blur, confusing the issues of authorship and ownership, Datto, who is a scientific researcher by training, pushes forward his own work through the field of 'virtual photography'.

"CROSSINGS initially took root from my fascination with the megalopolises of the Arab Emirates, where I have been traveling intermittently for the last 13 years," Datto says. "It gradually evolved to accommodate a commentary on what has been justly termed a 21st century slave society with rampant human rights violations of migrant workers from south Asia and east Africa." While these images show scenes from essentially too high up to reveal the actuality of any human rights violations, they show the desert landscape of workplaces and construction sites, and inform us in an indirect way that, when seen from far enough away, abuse might look like beauty.

To see and read more from the project, check the e-publication on Issuu.