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Dutch Landscapes, 2011
Archival pigment prints.
31.5x35.4 inches (80x90cm) / 59x66 inches (150x169cm)
Softcover print-on-demand book, 10×8 inches (25×20 cm), 106 pages. Order here.


When Google introduced its free satellite imagery service to the world in 2005, views of our planet only previously accessible to astronauts and surveyors were suddenly available to anyone with an internet connection. Yet the vistas revealed by this technology were not universally embraced.

Governments concerned about the sudden visibility of political, economic and military locations exerted considerable influence on suppliers of this imagery to censor sites deemed vital to national security. This form of censorship continues today and techniques vary from country to country with preferred methods generally including use of cloning, blurring, pixelization, and whitening out sites of interest.

Surprisingly, one of the most vociferous of all governments to enforce this form of censorship were the Dutch, hiding hundreds of significant sites including royal palaces, fuel depots and army barracks throughout their relatively small country. The Dutch method of censorship is notable for its stylistic intervention compared to other countries; imposing bold, multi-coloured polygons over sites rather than the subtler and more standard techniques employed in other countries.
The result is a landscape occasionally punctuated by sharp aesthetic contrasts between secret sites and the rural and urban environments surrounding them.

In the original book of this series, these interventions are presented alongside physical alterations made to the Dutch landscape through a vast land reclamation project that began in the 16th Century and is ongoing. A third of the Netherlands lies below sea level and the dunes, dykes, pumps, and drainage networks engineered over hundreds of years have dramatically shaped the country’s landscape, providing it with huge swathes of arable land that would otherwise be submerged.

Seen from the distant gaze of Earth’s orbiting satellites, the result is a landscape unlike any other; one in which polygons recently imposed on the landscape to protect the country from an imagined human menace bear more than a passing resemblance to a physical landscape designed to combat a very real and constant natural threat.







Semi-AutomatIc, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NYC


Landmark: The Fields of Landscape Photography (2014) William Ewing, Thames & Hudson
Drone: The Automated Image (2013) Paul Wombell, Kerber
Vues d'en Haut (2013) Centre Pompidou Metz
A Different Kind of Order: The ICP Triennial (2013) International Center of Photography, Prestel
Post Photography in the Age of Internet and the Mobile Phone (2013) RM/Arts Santa Monica
Aneignung / Appropriation (2013) Fotogalerie Wien
Mishka Henner: Semi-Automatic at Bruce Silverstein Gallery, Helena Calmfors, Musee Magazine
Mishka Henner, Loring Knoblauch, Collector Daily
The Man Who Laughed At Surveillance Technology, Alex Greenberger, Art News
Semi-Automatic: Mishka Henner, Lara Atallah, Art Forum Critics' Pick
Mishka Henner: Art as Geospatial Intelligence Gathering, Robert Shore, Elephant
Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, Christy Lange, Frieze
Origins Story, Through a Modern Lens, New York Times
What Google Maps Can't See, New Yorker
The Fine Art of Spying, Ellen Gamerman, Wall Street Journal
Feed Lots, Nicola Twilley, Edible Geography
Picking Up The Pieces, Chris Wiley, Aperture
Dutch Landscapes, Moritz Neumüller, European Photography, Number 93
What’s Real Today (Check Again Soon), Holland Cotter, NY Times
A Different Kind of Order: ICP Triennial, Jessie Wender, New Yorker
The Golden Age of Dutch Aerial Landscapes, Giampaolo Bianconi, Rhizome
Artistically censored Google Earth pix - the Dutch way, CNet
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