Uncanny yet familiar. In this exhibition of art and photography, explore the weird world of Moments in Algorithmic Places (MAPs).

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


October 21, 2014 - November 15, 2014



In the PLACEMAKERS exhibit, step inside the world of Moments in Algorithmic Places, or MAPs, and discover the surreal yet familiar landscapes of three artists using 3D mapping software as their muse: Switzerland’s Regula Bochsler, San Francisco-based Jenny Odell, and Brooklyn-based Clement Valla.

Through their works, follow an oil pipeline across the US, see what a flattened 3D map looks like, and rearrange satellite images into the shapes of your choosing. Journey through a fictional city assembled from layers of reality, and find out how these artists scour mapping software in search drooping roads and mountain atolls rising from swimming pools.

Each artist explores the uncanny and ephemeral nature of 3D mapping, revealing strange yet picturesque visions of a world assembled by math. They hunt for anomalies, relocate landmarks, and embark on strange journeys. In capturing these moments, they make the ephemeral permanent and question the very nature of mapping and photography.

Exhibit Hours

Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Free, no registration required. Contact us for a group appointment.

Related Events

Opening Reception
October 21, 2014, at 6:30 pm
A discussion with the artists about their practice and how machine-made images influence society.

Books in Browsers
October 25, 2014
Spend a day hacking tools for online storytelling, expression and art.

Planet Mapping: The Science of 3D Maps
October 29, 2014
Find out what tools and techniques are enabling today’s modern cartographers to render 3D maps.


Regula Bochsler

Regula Bochsler is a Swiss journalist, historian, documentary filmmaker, and artist. After her dissertation on domestic workers at the University of Zurich, she began a career at Swiss National Television (SRF), initially as a presenter and later as a reporter, producer, and documentary filmmaker. From 2004 to 2011, she was responsible for Kulturplatz, a weekly program on contemporary culture. Her areas of research have been a diverse range of social, cultural, and political topics: Among other projects she realized exhibitions about the history of Migros, one of Switzerland’s biggest retailers, Swiss advertising films and prostitution in her hometown Zurich.
Bochsler is the author of a biography of Swiss union leader Margarethe Faas (2003) and co-author of Leaving Reality Behind: etoy vs & other battles to control cyberspace (2003). In 2013 she started her media art project The Rendering Eye, which is based on Apple’s mapping service.

Jenny Odell

Jenny Odell is a Bay Area native/captive who makes use of secondhand imagery, most commonly from Google Earth. Her work attempts to bring into focus the specific, fragile, and physically determined characteristics of human existence by cataloguing its infrastructure. Odell’s projects have been featured at the Google Headquarters, Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Fotomuseum Antwerp, Les Rencontres d’Arles, and La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris. They have also turned up in TIME’s LightBox, the Atlantic, The Economist, WIRED, and European Photography. Having studied design at the San Francisco Art Institute and English at UC Berkeley, Odell makes work at the intersection of research and aesthetics, and has been frequently been compared to a scientist (specifically, a lepidopterist). She currently lectures at Stanford University and the San Francisco Art Institute.

Clement Valla


Clement Valla is a Brooklyn based artist. His recent solo show ‘Surface Survey’ at Transfer Gallery in New York was an Artforum Critic’s Pick. His work was included in the “Paddles On!” auction at Phillips, organized by Lindsay Howard. His work has also been exhibited at The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis; Museum of the Moving Image, New York; Thommassen Galleri, Gothenburg; Bitforms Gallery, New York; Mulherin + Pollard Projects, New York; DAAP Galleries, University of Cincinnati; 319 Scholes, New York; and the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Milwaukee.
Valla received a BA in Architecture from Columbia University and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Digital+Media. He is currently an associate professor of Graphic Design at RISD.


This exhibition is part of Image as Location, a week that explores the relationship between people, pictures, and places brought to you by Books in Browsers, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Goethe Institut, Gray Area Art and Technology, swissnex San Francisco, and the Berkeley Center for New Media.


*Image courtesy of Regula Bochsler