Artist statement

Photography represents for me a highly creative, never-ending mind game, where novelties are created under flexible rules and flexible objectives. Success or failure within that context is less important than the process itself. On the whole, I consider art making an expression of self-definition, self-fulfillment and freedom to play.

Although creation is a process in flux, the core drivers of my work are the ‘anticipation of a discovery’ and the ‘need for experimental versioning’. Through an urge for discovery, I have adopted modes of working from that of a flâneur to that of a precautions retoucheur, doing everything in postproduction. ‘Experimental versioning’ is indeed one of the reasons I became an artist. Within this realm, I am allowed to create art, pose peaceful objections to ideas, master narratives, vernacular iconography and position myself in the spatiotemporal coincidence of the here, the now, the future and the everlasting.

I currently work in digital, however the traditions of fine art b/w and color analog photography still inform my practice. My portfolios Seafront Views, Specimens of American Suburbia No Place Architecture, Unmanned and Inanimate and World of Immaterial Objects, I favor finding my subjects in the immediate environment, as opposed to constructing a reality in the studio. Residing in different countries and taking pleasure from wandering suburban areas are the reasons for developing a strong ‘sense of place’ and for questioning it though my creative processes. In Specimens of American Suburbia, which delves with Place Identity and Photographic Representation, I focus on suburban places and architectural structures, which I encounter by accident. As a matter of fact, I never plan, or hardly ever go back to the same place for a retake.

While shooting in Greece, the US, the UAE, France, or elsewhere, I leave out information that can reveal the place’s origin. I intend to show that these areas can exist ‘anywhere and nowhere’. Under this condition, their identity becomes fluid, as they are no longer attached to a map, but inhabit a non-geographically designated place. An ‘anonymous’ place designated by the use of the medium, in the context of post- New Topographics landscape photography. The aggregation of multiple out-of-context places, however, in a portfolio elevates this anywhere/nowhere approach into ‘somewhere’. This ‘somewhere’ is neither urban or suburban nor real or unreal. It is a place, where skies are always blue, where one can find many colorful architectural curiosities. These, in turn, hail the viewer to visually and mentally interact with the work and alter the places into what I like to call ‘adversely possessed hyp-urbias’.

There are no people appearing in them, but somehow they do through the traces they leave behind. To push the envelope further on this, by not capturing people I don’t mean to create a deadpan view of the world. On the contrary, I intensify human presence, as people subliminally appear not only through remnant material objects, but also through the coincidence of my encounter with this or that place, my will-to-create a version of what I saw, the place itself, and the historical context about the place.

I continue capturing dystopian landscapes; that is ambivalent in terms of place identity and photographic representation. I am looking to elaborate on the notions of photography and place identity by tracing their relation to current western trends of artistic iconography, human geography, psychology, and architecture.

Stellar diaries

The Future is Now

Since the beginning of time space exploration, space migration and space travel has captured the human heart. The ‘Space Age’, however, began relatively recently, in the 1950s and 60s. Since then, many countries – the USA, the former USSR, Japan, China as well as countries from the European Union – have established space programs, contributed to the discovery of unknown star systems, and explored the possibility of human migration into space. NASA has undertaken many of the most successful space exploration efforts, including the Apollo missions, the Skylab space station, the Space Shuttle program and lately the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle mission. Space exploration and space travel are concomitant with capturing images, as images are the raw data for much space-oriented scientific research. European Space Agency’s and NASA’s Spitzer, Hubble and James Webb Space telescopes have led to the establishment of a scientific gaze, undisputed in terms of validity. Although images from space telescopes have helped us determine the age of the universe, the identity of quasars, and the existence of dark energy, our gaze and reach into the infinite is a work-in-progress deemed to be tackled in the present and not in the future. Foremost, due to overpopulation and the fast- evolving resources’ exhaustion of our planet. The Future is Now. The Space Age is now and it is powered by encroachments in space travel and in artificial intelligence (i.e. singularity, strong AI). Within this context, the project, The Future is Now, thrives. And from this context, it derives its importance, as it urges discourse and action in the present. It has been materialized by the production of high quality photo based visuals to draw connections to narratives around the so-called ‘Space Age’ and current space exploration and space travel efforts opening a discussion between opposing points of view on an ideology, which advocates the escape of humanity from Planet Earth in exchange for new stars and solar systems. These discourses have fueled my incentive to depict outer space as both a point of departure and a to-be-reached destination. Also to contribute my own renderings of the cosmos and communicate new ways of representing space exploration and space travel. Mixed technique photo-based processes have been used including: direct computational photography, light painting and postproduction practices.


Yiannis Galanopoulos