Beijing >> Shanghai
aerophotography is not a study of architectural details, but the exploration of urban districts. aerophotography is about cities flipping from being specific to generic to grainy. It isn’t about the silent and fixed gaze, but about turbulence, wings and windows. It is about the cities slowly disappearing while climbing, cruising and descending to reach another city, about seeing cities from your window-seat, about being up in the air from Beijing 北京 to Shanghai 上海.
When architecture and cities disappear around the air traffic control tower and we leave, speed up into the sky and away from the city, when take-off time is there, when mobiles are switched off, laptops stored away and the cabin crew crammed in, our work starts. aerophotography is about the singular experience of the body leaving the earth’s surface, moving quickly away from the metropolis. From here the city looks like the weird perspectives one sometimes finds in real-estate magazines: structures are skewed, towers twist, a dream frozen by some weird 3D-software.
The pictures below are probes of progress. They are an attempt, repeated over and over again, to explain urban evolution. From here one sees the true nature of China’s contemporary cities: an entity, large-scale, of course, at various stages of development. While taking off one sees villages of all sorts, the brown and grey ones for the farmers, the baroque and bizarre for the fortunate.
From the air, the city is/resembles an archipelago of luxury real-estate developments, landfills and lumps of high-rise housing developments. One sees the city radiating, sprawling, growing, taking over the countryside: the future is without farmlands.
Pictures by movingcities.org