telecom trees

…commonplace trees within urban and rural settings. …
Photographer Robert Voit’s “New Trees” are initially slow to reveal their true nature. Prolonged viewing, however, discloses the artificiality of these central focal points, which, in reality, are cell phone masts that have been meticulously disguised by telecom companies to blend in with their surroundings. One of the photos features a seemingly real palm tree looming above a trailer park in Las Vegas; it stands, dwarfing the other—real—palm trees. Despite its initially convincing appearance, the tree begins to seem uncannily rigid and linear. A subtle, but jarring, sense of artificiality comes to pervade the image, a feeling which is confirmed by the sight of mechanical antenna structures somewhat cloistered within the fake tree’s long, artificial leaves. The trees’ attempts to fit in with their surroundings creates the tension of Voit’s work… Trees, an emblem of shelter, solidity and the incorruptibility of nature, appear ironically co-opted, channeling information invisibly, through walls and in the service of social, commercial and political interests. [source> Amador Gallery]

“His pictorial inventory, a work-in-progress since 2003, of mobile phone masts in the guise of artificial trees erected in real space in the U.S., Great Britain, South Africa, Korea, Italy and Portugal pays superficial tribute to a diffuse creative will driven by a basic desire for conciliation. To visually compensate for the dangers of electro-smog, mobile phone masts are given plastic “magic hoods” which simulate nature so that they then appear in the landscape as idealized forms of vegetation. The broad range of camouflage outfits includes deciduous trees and conifers, pines, palms and huge cacti.”

[1-4> via Robert Voit’s New Trees]

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