When we travel, sightseeing mostly involves seeing a monument and taking a picture. But there are millions of us traveling. Millions of us seeing that exact monument, and millions of us taking the same picture. The result is a massive bunch of the one and the same picture, just differing in small details like people walking around, perspective, weather conditions and so on.

Switzerland based artist Corinne Vionnet discovered that phenomenon while visiting the tower of Pisa:

“Once facing the Tower of Pisa, I observed tourists taking their souvenir pictures. I have done some rough calculations on how many photographs are taken of the tower per day, per month and per year. It is an impressive number! This phenomenon existed before digital cameras. But now, with digital cameras and the Internet, everyone can easily show their pictures to friends and other visitors by placing their images on an online photo-sharing website.” (Interview by www.yvimag.com)

Corinne decided to do something with her discovery. She collected between 200 and 300 pictures from photo sharing platforms and layered them on top of each other until she got a satisfying result. At the first sight her images appear like paintings, done in a past century by some dutch artist in his Flemish atelier, but having a closer look you can see details and vague silhouettes vanishing like memories.

“This work is intrinsically linked to the people who took these pictures. The collaboration is obvious, but it is without their knowledge. These pictures are on the Internet, to be seen by any eventual visitors. I am just one of those visitors. It is the sheer quantity of these almost identical pictures that gave me the idea of superimposing them. I do not think I would have had the idea if I had made all these pictures of the same places myself. Anyway, the work would loose its meaning.”

See more of the series at Corinne’s portfolio.


This post was written by Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk, who has a funny name even for Germans; she is a wicked go-getter and creative freelance designer, photographer and blogger.

She has an eye for beauty and even finds it in ugly apartment blogs. Her weekly photo chronicle “My week in pictures” has already become a classic among urban Berliners. Find out more at smaracuja.de.