Your flight has been cancelled: Stock vector landscape as a digital non-place

Your flight has been cancelled: Stock vector landscape as a digital non-place
Author: Kopalova, Ksenia and Krasnova-Shabaeva, Masha (11 January 2024)


This article presents and analyses the results of a research workshop conducted during and after the 2022 Transitus symposium at Falmouth University. The article aims to explore our visions of physical space, travel and migration through stock landscape illustration. The workshop invited illustrators to draw a five-step sequence of images customising a stock landscape by turning it into a view out of their window, thus exploring how a visual digital ‘airport’, a utopian hub of a stock landscape, disintegrates into particularities of individual experiences. The resulting sequences of images were put together in an online magazine about illustration,, and are available here: (Accessed 10 June 2023) This webpage collects 30-minute drawings from fourteen illustrators based in ten countries: Armenia, Dubai, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, with ten of the participants being based outside of their home country. Building upon the idea of the ‘nomadic illustration’ suggested by Catrin Morgan and Marc Augé’s notion of ‘non-place’, this article will explore further similarities between nomadism and the circulation of stock imagery. It will thus use the term ‘nomadic’ not only as a metaphor, but also as a direct link to migration studies and studies of digital nomadism, which often describes the precarious occupation of a migrating illustrator. This project will aim to highlight the unlikely possibilities that stock illustration may offer as a point of connection, rather than presenting stock landscapes an alienating utopian abstraction. It will also analyse how individual authorial strategies deal with the notion of space, and how artistic means shape our visions of private and public spaces.

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