In 2002, I was able to procure approximately
20,000 aerial photographs of detached houses from a defunct business
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
Peter Piller, Hamburg, summer 2004.
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