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.

More can be found on the RCA Research Biennale site and in PROVA Journal 5, Correspondence, 2020.  PROVA:


When I was a child, my family moved from Toronto, a city in the middle of a continent to a largely 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 on the subject of tooth brushing, 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 Captain Bird’s 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 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:

Scanning the aerial view:

legitimate and illegitimate


This is an explorative study in support of my PhD research, Inside here:  dispersal as a strategy used in (landscape based) documentarist art practice.  In working with the scatterings, inadequacies, inversions, within critical documentartist art practice, my research develops a method using dispersal as a strategy of practice, one connecting with the inherently dispersed nature of social relations.  In order to do so, my videos use an upwards view to explore paths within urban green spaces.   

In this study exploring the downwards aerial view in support of my upwards view videos and photography, I made point cloud and mesh images in the two sites within Part One of my research, Speaker’s Corner (left below) and Parliament Hill Fields (right and far right).  In some ways my point cloud and mesh images are similar to images that can be found using Google maps satellite downwards view, however, my images are also of objects such as a branch found in Speaker’s Corner and benches and trees found along my path when videoing within Parliament Fields. In making images using point cloud technology using photogrammetry (3D scanning software), I’m following a process that corresponds with processes involved in GPS and Google maps, although more subjectively and with emphasis on my personal experience and viewpoints. 

In some ways I am re-purposing a design tool; photogrammetry as a form of 3D scanning is a tool now used by architects and other practitioners within the field of design, to make representations of objects, structures and sites.  However, I am using this way of producing images as a way to explore the information offered to us by GPS and mapping apps, as practical background for my upwards view videos.  As an example, my upwards view videos include sky while in contrast, sky is not included in these point cloud and mesh images, as sky is excluded by the photogrammetry software, although these images have an illusion of volume.  

My vault series upwards view video exploring a site in St Ives can be found in How can my research live in many contexts? also in this journal. Extracts from upwards view videos, we all look at the same sky and water drawing can be found on the RCA Research Biennale site at