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 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:  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 on my research can be found at

Video postcards

My practice, drawing on structural film as a main field of reference and diaristic practice, inherently dispersed ways of working, uses video and still photography and other media to negotiate site(s) while considering site as space(s).  As an artist documenting sites within urban green space, I see the register of subjectivity in our experience of site as under pressure. Space is described as made up of multiplicities of trajectories of social relations or stories-so-far by Doreen Massey in analysis of spatial theories (For Space, 2005). Now, as material site becomes with our online space(s), I research the ways in which dispersal is used as a strategy in arts practice to address being in the world while documenting site. Scanning the aerial view: legitimate and illegitimate information is research using video, still photography, and photogrammetry, within a context of cartography, to explore the role of the digital object.

The photograph’s indexical nature, challenged by the shift to the digital, is implicitly referenced in the digital objects used in mapping apps such as Google Earth. With the photographic object there is a time lapse despite the indexicality of the process; the past seems beyond our reach. And yet, we project our own reading, our own intentions and desires, through the images we collect. My photographs play with the postcard and our desire to capture the lost past, lost desire. Playing with the postcard, my images are documents of sites anticipating deconstruction. Placed within the politics of the reproduction, the photographer disappearing, the postcard becomes an anticipatory space, expendable, and reveals something about the reader.

My digital 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. Photogrammetry software generates a point cloud using triangulation to compile digital objects from photographs. A point can also denote a destination in maps using GPS technology (a technology which generates a point cloud). Photography is additionally drawn on to achieve the presentation exemplified by Google Earth; photographs are applied as textures to the mesh surfaces of photogrammetry virtual objects. The digital objects found here are research into photogrammetry and the instrumentalist way of working used by mapping apps such as Google Earth, although with emphasis on my personal experience and viewpoints.


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