Offshore London (2019)

London’s most affluent districts are infamous as a mecca for property investment from abroad. In 2015 the news magazine Private Eye produced a map of properties in London owned by ‘shell’ companies – corporate entities whose real owners are incredibly difficult to trace – based in offshore tax havens.

The images from this series were produced using a mobile laser scanner during walks I made through the Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Mayfair neighbourhoods of London. Some of the scans show the trajectory of these walks. I have also edited scans to focus on a small selection of the capital’s offshore owned properties referenced in Private Eye’s database.

Lidar scans, clouds of small points constructed by firing beams of light to and from the scanner, produce a world made of literal surface appearances. The data generated by the laser scanner assumes a metaphorical quality in the rendering of these buildings. At the edges of the scanner’s radius there are shadows and suggestive traces. Behind a flimsy street level facade there is a void of information. The buildings are both translucent, and at the same time their owners remain hidden from view, their activities opaque.

This is an ongoing series of large scale digital print works (various dimensions).

This project is supported by equipment loans from Prof Mat Disney, UCL Geography and NERC NCEO.