Alephograph: Architecture, drawing and video games.

Little Books of Los Santos

Little Books of Los Santos

Inspired by Ed Ruscha's small artist's books documenting Los Angeles, I produced a series of screenshot books embracing Ruscha's 'deadpan' photographic style to reveal the contingencies of this video game metropolis. Three books are direct reproductions of Ruscha's original publications while a further two investigate the subtle deviations that exist within a video game world, all recorded in the same 'no-style' fashion. They comprise recreations of Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Thirtyfour Parking Lots and Nine Swimming Pools, alongside my own Cars on Hill and Many Mission Markers.

Book Mockup Tests Twentysix Gas Stations 01.jpg


Ruscha's original Twentysix Gasoline Stations documented all the structures he encountered on a journey to see his parents in Oklahoma. As Los Santos is an island bounded by sea, the linear pilgrimage of Ruscha's work becomes a circular journey, destined to be repeated many hundreds of times as one plays their way around the virtual city.


My little books follow the format and pagination of Ruscha's original books, framing Los Santos as a real place, yet derivative of its source system: Los Angeles.

Gas stations in a world where vehicles do not run out of petrol.


Moving beyond Ruscha's original books, I use screenshot photography to reveal the contingencies of this most visually convincing of virtual worlds. Cars on Hills is a series of screenshots of vehicles in improbable positions, their resting point on hillsides and up mountains betraying the cartoonish physics that regulate Los Santos.