Ed Ruscha’s Thirty-Four Parking Lots (1967) used aerial photography to turn banal, functional urban landscapes into abstract designs. Looking at these images it is easy to forget the reality of
, city of cars, and perceive the parking lots as earthworks designed for aesthetic purposes. There are currently examples on-line here, here, here and here. Los Angeles
Yves Alain Bois discussed one of these photographs in the book he wrote with Rosalind Krauss, Formless. He notes that after Ruscha captured these parking lots one early morning before the cars arrived, it was possible to see them as “a machine for the production of oil-spots”. The spots appear to be part of the design, a dynamic feature which grow and then are erased when the lots are asphalted over again. They convey some of the entropic quality of urban space that fascinated artists in the sixties and seventies.