Today, aerial imagery is typically captured by satellites, planes and drones. In the past, however, such images were obtained using kites and balloons. Weather balloons are old technology, still in use by climate scientists, who attach weather sensors known as radiosonde to them, in order to obtain measurements from various altitudes. Data collected from the radiosonde is sent back to the weather station via a radio transmitter. The concept of balloon and kite mapping is simple: tether a camera to something that flies and take pictures of the ground.
My project at Gibraltar Point was to research and document a moment in time on the shifting shoreline around the Toronto Islands. Incorporating the mutating backdrop of the city centre, the resulting will be a multimedia video piece.
This project offered the chance for the public to join in my walks, where, aside from documenting the shoreline, we shared the experience of aerial mapping (using a kite and/or balloon), and also take the opportunity to beach-clean. Found plastics were repurposed by me back at the studio.
all images copyright Sandra Smirle