AN EXERCISE IN BALLOON PHOTOGRAPHY
June 18, 2011 - 9:00am - 12:00pm

In 1858, Félix Nadar sailed above the newly transformed city of Paris in a hot air balloon. Camera in tow, he photographed the city from above and aerial photography was born. Returning to this early and simple form of aerial photography, Aurora Tang (assisted by Andrea Zittel and others attending the event) guided a weather balloon, equipped with a camera, across the expanses of A-Z West, creating a series of photographs that depict the land from above.

The exercise of photographing A-Z West with aerial balloon photography was both conceptual and practical in nature–Andrea was in need of photo documentation of the land that is of a higher resolution than the satellite imagery available through Google Earth. For Aurora, the exercise in balloon photography explored the aerial photograph’s seemingly contradictory function as documentation–a precise recording of site–amidst its effect of distortion–its ability to render the three-dimensional flat and details indiscernible.