AN INTERVIEW WITH MERE PACHNER:
DECEMBER'S MAI + t COLLABORATOR
Mere Pachner (Oessa) travels the world in Google Street View. Since 2012, Pachner has made it a part of her routine to spend time dropping pins at locations of her desire and virtually explore these places. She finds some of the most breathtaking views and exotic places, drawing out the wanderlust in every viewer of her blog. From mountains to waterscapes, the last 2014 collaborator of MAI + t is interested in finding her places of power in the world. We asked Pachner several questions to learn more about her inspiration for the project:
Where are you currently based?
I live in Bristol in the UK. It’s a nice city and living other places has made me appreciate it more. There is a nice vibe to it. It can be quite alternative and artistic when it wants to be.
How did you get started with Oessa?
I think it started as a form of escapism. I was studying in London at the time, so looking at Google Street View was a way of procrastinating, really. London is so busy, noisy, concrete and just grey, that this was a way out of that. It was a way of seeing nature when I couldn’t run off and experience it myself. I wanted somewhere to record what I found and to be able to share it with others, so Tumblr felt like the perfect place to do that. I’d seen street view blogs before but they all seemed to concentrate on funny or strange pictures. The purpose of Street View, or what it gets used for, is really to give people directions in towns and cities. There is such a wealth of beauty it has captured too, that’s what I wanted to concentrate on with Oessa.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I guess from everywhere; life, nature, films, photography. I see beauty in a lot of things. We’ve all got our human problems and sometimes they can take such precedence even on a global scale that we forget what a miracle life is and what a beautiful planet we live on.=
What is your process or blogging routine like?
I don’t tend to queue posts, when I post something it’s because I just found it or it’s the type of place I felt like exploring to relax or wind down. In the evening after work maybe I’ll be on the Internet and feel like finding a mountain view, so I’ll just look around the places I know I’m likely to find that. I just do it when I feel like it, it’s not very systematic or forced.
Where are some of your favorite places to visit via Google Earth?
I’ve always felt very drawn to places with water, so I enjoy exploring coasts and lakes and rivers the most. When I’m using Google Maps I tend to see the world without borders so my favourite places are usually to do with the subject and not the location.
What are some surprises you’ve found or learned through Oessa?
I don’t know, I mean I never really know what I’m looking for. My geography has definitely improved. Animals are usually a pleasant surprise to find as it’s so rare to come across them. I never really expected anyone to notice the blog so the fact that people like it has been a nice surprise.
There are several blogs that similarly use Google Earth to generate posts. Have you connected with them in any way?
I haven’t really. I know there are quite a lot, and some really good ones too. I’ve had a look at a few but I can’t help feeling like I don’t want to be influenced by them. The type of posts I make or the places I explore.
Did you find a community on Tumblr after starting this project?
It’s strange, but with Oessa I feel there is anonymity. People look at the images and the blog to escape. I think who I am is not important. All my followers have been so lovely though. People seem to feel strongly about the blog. I’ve had personal Tumblr for many years, long before Oessa, and there is definitely a sense of community there, I’ve met some wonderful people through it.
Are you interested in multidisciplinary collaborations? If so, what disciplines would you be most interested in working with?
Yes. I guess I don’t see myself as an artist. I am just sharing what I find. My hope for the future is to visit some of these places and to experience them and photograph and film them. But I’d be open to do anything because I just really enjoy running it.
Where did the name Oessa come from?
I’m not very good at picking usernames. I think I sat there for ages trying to think of something. I just made it up really. I knew I wanted it to begin with an o, I just kind of liked how it sounds.
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