Room 103, Auckland
Calder and Lawson Gallery, Hamilton
End User explores the use of New Zealand landscape as a generic picturesque. Made during the creation of films such as The Lord of the Rings and The Last Samurai, where Mount Taranaki was digitally altered to become Mount Fuji, the work examines the role of the Internet’s frictionless exchange of images in both eroding the specificity of place and promoting glamourous difference.
The images are sourced from a series of generic holiday snaps of New Zealand, downloaded from the free online photo gallery, Microsoft Live. In order to access this image library, browsers are required to agree to an End User Licence Agreement enumerating the Microsoft Corporation’s rights in regard to the image files. The agreement is displayed in full, with magnifying glasses (branded with New Zealand’s global trade-mark, ‘100% Pure’) available for the perusal of its fine print.
Viewing distance is key to the work – seamless images of mountains, geysers and sunsets break into chaotic pixellation on close inspection.