At first glance, this screenprint together with its counterpart, 'Air Routes of the World (Day)', also in the Collection, appears as an abstract compositions of dots and lines, like constellations of stars. A closer inspection reveals that the images represent aerial maps similar to those usually found in in-flight magazines. Showing the domestic and international flight routes taken by an airline, the maps are aesthetically striking ways of conveying practical information. The ‘Night’ and ‘Day’ subtitle of each work are also suggested by the use of white on black and black on white.
Langlands & Bell are concerned with the systems by which our lives are controlled. An earlier work, titled Air Routes in NW Europe (Night and Day), is described as ‘an image and effigy of some obscure force, abstract and elusive: an image not only of speed, but of the whole system of control over human travel’ (Serpentine Gallery exhibition catalogue, 1997).
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