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Ingo Giezendanner: GRRRR.net

Work / Illustration

Illustration: Ingo Giezendanner’s incredible digital document of all the places he’s ever been

To enter into the tangle of illustrations that makes up GRRRR.net is to enter into another world, a world of grizzly, pixellated line drawings and mysterious crooked nooks and corners, a world which seems to be based on the one that we know, but which also seems to belong to a separate universe entirely. Ingo Giezendanner has been working on his dense, digital atlas since 1998, a mind-blowing project which intricately documents all the cities that he’s lived in and visited over the past 16 years.

Ingo illustrates unnoticed or overlooked places in urban spaces, like garbage strewn alleys or unknown cafes, or even unmade beds in remote rooms under railway arches, and he pins these knotted illustrations on his interactive map. His travels have taken him from his hometown of Zurich all the way to California, to the edges of Australia, and to the tips of South America, all of which he’s exquisitely rendered in wiry, black and white. Ingo’s map looks a bit like what would happen if you plunged Google Maps into an ink pot, and he uses flashing, pixellated arrows to point out the digital mesh of moments and memories that he’s collected on his many travels.

You never know what you’ll stumble across next when cruising through GRRRR.net. You might be studying an image when suddenly a door will spontaneously combust, or you’ll happen across an abandoned television on the curb of a street which will begin to play an animation of swarming, sprouting mushrooms. There are so many surprises packed into the labyrinthine site that no two people will ever have the same experience when they’re exploring Ingo’s atlas. The site provides a curious antidote to the hyper-recorded reality of Google Street View, allowing you to see the world through a mind, as opposed to a machine.

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Ingo Giezendanner: GRRRR.net