My father used to compare me to baggage during our times of traveling together. He was right, I wouldn’t prepare for the trip at all. Neither did I know what to see, nor did I know what to do. Years later, my friend would call me the same during a trip to California. There were four of us – one of us was American, the others were Russians. Back in those days my English was poor. I couldn’t joke, I didn’t understand what these guys were talking about, and so I would be playing games on my smartphone. Then I learned how to drive.
However, for most of my trips I use public transport to get from one city to another, which, frankly, takes up a lot of time. I have my iPhone but I don’t want to play games anymore. So what’s left? I can read only when it’s absolutely quiet and its rare in the countries I love to go to. So most of the time you find yourself looking out the window, listening to music or talking to fellow commuters if you happen to know the language. The same happens on the route to your school, work, airport, and the like.
Five years ago in Morocco I found a way not just to observe what’s behind the window, but to play with that. Since then I have been making panoramas of all the countries I’ve been to.
Russia, USA, Mexico, Iceland, Germany, Italy, France, Latvia, Poland, among others.
I make panoramas each time I’m in а moving car, а bus, a train or even а plane. Even on a horse.
For a smartphone camera it’s really hard to register everything it captures when you’re moving fast especially on a bumpy road. Depending on the speed certain objects shrink, some replicate but most of them just disappear. It’s a lot like our memory.
There is no certain method to get this right. Each time you’re capturing it’s an experiment. Panoramas on smartphones are joined from many tiny vertical stripes of the photo to be able to merge objects without seams. Usually you turn around yourself, so each stripe is made from one point of view. However, when you are in a moving transport each stripe has its own point of view a centimeter or more (depending on the speed) apart from the previous stripe. That’s why some panoramas look realistic and surrealistic at the same time. There’s no perspective. We rarely see sides of objects. This new reality looks fairytale–ish, and amply interesting for us to explore.
Much like a gamble, where you cannot predict which of those cards will help you win, you play around with the Panorama Mode. Is it going to be poetic, absurd, beautiful or not at all? Is it worth capturing or not? You keep playing, unsure of what will happen. Only in my case cards are: buildings, wires, cars, people, etc. Make a panorama you haven’t created before, better than the last. Which is why, even in the midst of unpredictability, when I’m on the road I feel excitement, be it in the traffic or even when it’s shitty weather outside.
I think the panoramas’ greatness comes from chance presiding over man. The greatest things in life are divine accidents. For me it’s the only thing that keeps life from being dead. Everywhere there are beautiful accidents. “Every time one would happen, boom! Genius would come out.”
My goal is not only to be the artist who is acknowledged and lauded for making these kinds of panoramas, but to start a huge wave in this niche and conducting exhibitions of other people’s panoramas from around the world. Change the way you see “boring reality”. Play with our routine landscapes. If you are tired or just want to play (mess) with what you have been given. Unpack the present.
My friends already send me their own such panoramas. But only when I succeed in inspiring people from around the globe, will I feel this project has achieved a level of wholesomeness. Let’s call it «attractionism» (rus.).
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