‘Badlands’ was born out of an innate fascination with the surreal desert landscapes outside of the metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona. A netherworld of eroded rocks and rusted soil that seems extraterrestrial. Jagged mountainous zigzags criss-cross Pre-cambrian mounds, marked stratum of eons of evolution, degradation, and rebirth, intertwined with the endlessly blue Arizona sky. The sweeping colors, immense spread of land, mountains eroding into flowing waves of sand and pebble seems to offer a glimpse into another world.

Within this context, a collaboration was born – between the glass of a photographic lens, and the simulation of a digital model. Exploring the landscapes, Ben Sandler’s camera becomes the recorder of the original source, while Zeitguised’s digital modeling tool interprets the geologic phenomenology of the land. Within this process, an aesthetic language is developed. It interpolates between the inorganic substrates of the prehistoric landscape, with the organic and tectonic structures embedded within. Based on image analysis and observation, the project circumvents the dichotomy of the real and the fake, as it combines the two in imagery that is taking cues from itself. The resulting world becomes a striking and uncanny walk-in bastardization between the rich reality of the landscape and the reduced analytic model thereof.

All images © Ben Sandler and Zeitguised