The Long Way Home of Ivan Putnik, Truck Driver

by Vaste Programme

Shaped as a visual diary, The Long Way Home of Ivan Putnik, Truck Driver tells the story of a Russian truck driver and his long journey to go back home to his family. Driving across all of Siberia from east to west, through some of its most isolated lands in the world, Ivan Puntik shot hundreds of pictures, writing down notes and comments alongside his photographs. Some of which are presented here.
In Siberia, north the Arctic Circle, Google Street View is almost completely non-existent. Scouring these areas on Google Maps, the closest thing to it are spherical photographs, taken by common users, uploaded to the server and geolocated. A significant difference, on which we decided to focus on. Putnik is indeed a fictional character, and all the images in the project are actually screengrabs we took from these 360° photos shot by Russian people. We built a story around them, merging the practices of adoption and resignification of images with the vero-fiction.
So the work engages in building an identity throughout a vision and point of view on the world, but what also emerges form the images are the consequences of politics on the environment, intertwining these two aspects.
Although the work was born from the pure pleasure of wondering before these images, and although it was born without any intention of protest, further noteworthy issues arose. First of all the discover of territories nowadays extremely relevant in the geopolitical and environmental balances of the planet. Gas pipelines, ports, mines, uncontrolled exploitation of resources and movement of goods and materials are so widespread that it suffice to click randomly on google maps to find them in front of us.