Arial view archive / Von Erde schöner

A Dirty Clouds I Birds S Savings Banks
B Street End/Turning bay   J Sleeping Houses   T Piles
C Projection Areas   K Connecting Pictures   U Playgrounds
D Temporary Housing   L Voyeur   V Lawnmowers
E Floral Objects   N Single Pictures   W New Homes/Under Construction
F Graveyards   P Tongues   X Pool
G Paths   Q Car Wash   Y Electricity Cables
H Person in front of House   R House/Pit      

In 2002, I was able to procure approximately 20,000 aerial photographs of detached houses from a defunct business venture.   

The company’s intension was to sell the photographs to the respective house owners. Low- flying aircraft were employed, between 1979 and 1983, to systematically scan settlements the length and breadth of the country.

The salesperson had used a ball-point pen to add some revealing notes to the back of the photographs: “Not interested in pictures”, “looks nicer from the ground”, “wife keen, but house too expensive”, “you’ll get half a moped for that”, “doing it himself” or simply: “deceased”, for instance.

After several archive inspections, I was led to the first collection themes and classification categories: “Sleeping Houses”, “Floral Objects” and “Person in front of House”. Whilst sifting, for the forth, fifth and sixth time, through 18 removal boxes packed with yellowing photos and negatives; I eventually discovered the material that now constitutes the content of this book.

Peter Piller, Hamburg, summer 2004.

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