Old Tourist Snapshots Make New Art

Posted by David Ozanich — 22 Feb 2011

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Corinne Vionnet searched the internet looking for tourist photos of popular sites. Then she layered them on top of each other to create this series "Photo Opportunities." From an essay on the series:

What is remarkable about Vionnet's findings is the consistency in online iterations of the travelers' gaze. It makes one wonder, how do we determine the optimum spot to photograph landmarks? Maybe we stand at the gateway to the Taj Mahal to render its architectural fa├žade in perfect symmetry, or we stand where we can frame all four American presidents in equal scale at Mount Rushmore. Perhaps we instinctively choose how to photograph known monuments as we are socially conditioned to take pictures we have seen before - images popularized through film, television, postcards, and the Internet.


Not so long ago, people would often organize their tourist snapshots into travelogues. Today, the travelogue is less likely to be a tangible album found in our homes than it is an online directory of digital images. When placed in the public realm, the travel souvenirs become anonymous products of tourism, searchable by the keywords ascribed to them by their makers. These meeting points, as Vionnet describes the sourced snapshots, may be inspiration for your next photo opportunity.

See 23 other photographs here.

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