Joan Fontcuberta - Googlegram 17: The Other
Spanish, b. 1955
Googlegram 17: The Other, 2005
C-Print, 29.5 x 39.375 inches

Gift of Nicki and J. Ira Harris (BBA '59)

Joan Fontcuberta was born in 1955 in Barcelona, where he continues to live and work. His work is in numerous institutions, including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Fontcuberta uses the popular internet search engine Google to create large, colorful photo-mosaics that construct an elegant metaphor for the internet-era's liaisons between mass media and our collective consciousness. Penny-sized portraits of the richest men and women in the world are pieced together into a mosaic depicting a homeless man; the iconic image of detainee tortured at Abu Ghraib is cobbled together out of images of public officials involved in the scandal.
As the artist notes, the internet itself is "the supreme expression of a culture which takes for granted that recording, classifying, interpreting, archiving and narrating in images is something inherent in a whole range of human actions, from the most private and personal to the most overt and public."

This photograph of a woman’s hand in Agra, India, has been refashioned using photo mosaic freeware, linked to Google’s Image Search function. The final result is a composite of 6,000 images available on the internet that responded to the words “The Other” in English, French, and Spanish as a search criteria.