Scanning the aerial view: legitimate and illegitimate information
Karen Bosy
Project overview —



‘You substitute the path for the journey, and because the journey is subtended by the path, you think the two coincide’ (Bergson, cited in Massey 2005).

How can my research live in different contexts? To negotiate this question, I scatter provocations in the form of short texts, photographs and videos to online spaces. By dispersing my work to the attention of different groups of people, I benefit from divergent interpretations in the form of feedback and insight bringing into view digital media’s long reach and the unsettling, unfixed, dispersed nature of site.



When I was a child, my family moved from Toronto, a city in the middle of a continent to a rural island in the Caribbean sea. Although I was young, this move away from extended family and a place I understood as my world, brought into view for me the constructedness of my reality. As James Lingwood explains: ‘we learn to interpret the conversations associated with photography, cinema, painting, street signs and so on,’ and our knowledge of these systems ’lead us to believe that the world is a fixed and orderly place’ (cited in Kester, 1995). Lingwood’s comment corresponds to an early impression of my new home where, mixed in with my astonishment at the clichéd truth of the velvety heat of the scented tropical air, was my awareness of the unfamiliar design of street lighting.

As a result of this move, my understanding of television also changed. What had been for me a remotely controlled, public form of entertainment became a tool for communication within the community. My mother’s informational puppet show, she was in public health then, was broadcast daily. The puppets could be found in the opening time slot on the sole TV channel of this island, which wisely broadcast only during after school hours. Later my school selected me and other girls to play the pirates for a television commercial promoting Birds Eye ready-made food for children, which was also broadcast in the UK. This experience highlighted for me the role of dispersal and site within the potential of moving image.

Subsequently back in Toronto, I studied painting at OCA(D) and in then Florence. Later, I moved to London to study printmaking and painting at The Slade School of Fine Art. Currently I move between London and Toronto; my work is held at the Eagle Gallery. As a PhD candidate at RCA, I am considering the unfixed nature of site and conversations associated with media in the context of dispersal and critical-documentartist art practice and using video and other media within my practice-based research. My recent papers on the subjects of the monument in art practice and daydreaming (unspecific thought), and the blog as a frame can be found in Links to my published writing can also be found on my blog:  More on vault series and information on my research can be found in PROVA Journal 5, Correspondence, 2020 at PROVA: and on the RCA Research Biennale site

Scanning the aerial view:

legitimate and illegitimate


By KMBosy

Speaker’s Corner (above)

More information can be found at

Video postcards

My research, in working with the scatterings, inadequacies, inversions, within critical-documentartist art practice, develops a method using dispersal as a strategy of practice, one connecting with the inherently dispersed nature of social relations.  My practice, drawing on structural film as a main field of reference and diaristic practice, inherently dispersed ways of working, uses video, digital and film photography, and other media to negotiate site(s) while considering site as space(s). 

The virtual objects of London spaces Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park, and Parliament Hill and Fields, Hampstead Heath, presented here as video postcards, take a questioning form. With the photographic object there is a time lapse despite the indexicality of the process; the past seems beyond our reach. My photographs play with the postcard and our desire to capture the lost past, lost desire. Placed within the politics of the reproduction, the photographer disappearing, the postcard becomes an anticipatory space, expendable, and revealing something about the viewer.

When used in cartography the virtual object, occupied as it is by cartography’s grid, offers an abstract interpretation of the landscape. This way of working starts with a point cloud generated by the software using the location coordinates of the photographs. In Scanning the aerial view: legitimate and illegitimate information  I attempt to document the landscape using digital photographs and photogrammetry, with an emphasis on my personal experience and viewpoints.

Reference: Massey, Doreen B. For Space. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE, 2005.

Parliament Hill Fields (above, right and far right). 

Speaker’s Corners (left)

Site map of Hampstead Heath

Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath location map

Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath location map

Location of photogrammetry models in Hampstead Heath