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Dutch Censorship is Drawn with Geometric Aesthetics

Samuel Medina describes how the Dutch use stylistic aesthetics to disguise sections of their satellite images to ward off national threats, as portrayed in Mishka Henner's new book, <em>Dutch Landscapes</em>.
May 5, 2012, 11am PDT | Alesia Hsiao
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When the launch of Google Earth in 2005 liberated satellites' far-reaching views, concerns of over national security escalated as military, political and economic locations became too visibly public. In response, the Dutch government urged censorship of these vistas by concealing them in geometric forms, as shown in Mishka Henner's Dutch Landscapes.

As Henner notes, "Tracts of land deemed vulnerable to attack or misappropriation are transformed into large tapestries of multi-colored polygons, archipelagos of abstraction floating in swaths of open fields, dense forests, and clusters of urban development."

Medina draws a historical line from this virtual response through the Netherland's physical efforts to protect their country's native land from the threat of disasters both natural and man-made.

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Published on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 in Architizer
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