Spending Time in Places That Don't Exist

Why do we love to look at places that we can't go? I say this with the presumption that I'm not the only one because of the sheer volume of fictional places one can easily find while browsing Instagram. I think that fictional places capture our imaginations, but I'm not entirely sure why.

Some real-life places are too far away, or too expensive, or too obscure to travel to. But there are also an infinite number of places that don't really exist that we would also love to visit.

Some fictional places aren't merely aesthetically pleasing, but they evoke a nostalgia for a different time in our lives. As a child of the 80s, vaporwave neon always does that for me.

If you look at 3D art on Instagram it's isn't hard to find wonderful shots depicting serene, breezy, dreamy locations that feel surreal and enticing. A chair by the water of an endless pool. A window overlooking a sea of stars. Steps leading to a darkened corner of a monochromatic home.

I have often thought, "Why do I want to go here so badly?" Does the desire make sense at all? Would I really feel the way I expect if I were sitting by that pool? If I lived in that house? If I could take in that landscape with my own eyes?

Hey, this one might actually be real... I sure hope so but I don't know why...

You may not have noticed, but there is a conspicuous lack of people in most of these scenes, and I feel like their emptiness makes them all the more mysterious. The quiet fills my imagination and I start to experience the sounds and smells and feelings of being there, wherever that is.

Solitude is a powerful thing. It can be somewhat frightening. Are you trapped, or just taking a break?

Maybe these perfect imaginary places evoke a childlike hope that someday we can relax in these carefree vistas when we get to heaven. Then we will experience the peace that we longingly imagine today. We will step into the painting and be free.

My head may just be in the clouds, but that doesn't necessarily reflect my altitude.

Plants and pools are big with these kinds of images. I must say, they certainly add something special. Maybe the water and the flora bring life to what would be an otherwise lifeless space. But there's still nobody there...

Maybe someday we will be able to go to these places, or if not, we can build them. I mean this wholeheartedly: keep dreaming.

Thanks to these fine artists for their inspiring work. I'm honored to share these finds with you. Please give them a follow and support their work as you see fit.

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