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umans love to tease signals from noise. We see a man in the moon, Mother Mary in a piece of toast, Lady Luck in a winning run at the casino. Alex MacLean deftly plays to this tendency in his stunning aerial photos that reveal patterns in seemingly mundane things.
MacLean leans from the window of an airplane to snap tightly arranged photos of urban, industrial and wild environments. The vantage point is low enough to make out the people and places on the ground, but high enough to see their organization within the broader landscape. His photos provide our appetite for patterns several layers of interpretation to chew on, while exploring the impact of things like urban sprawl, pollution and resource extraction.
“Through sort of abstract and engaging patterns, those things will draw people into it, and hopefully think about these issues,” he says. “It really is about combining art and information. Some of it is sort of subliminal–you can’t quite put your finger on it but it sort of draws you in and engages you.”