Artist Creates Haunting Images Of The Ghosts Of Google Street View
October 1, 2012
In an effort to draw attention to Google’s murky user privacy, Italian artist Paolo Cirio has created a series of street art interventions, printing images he finds of people in Google Street View and then placing them in the very spot where they were captured by the Street View car. The project, entitled “Street Ghosts,” has already cast these real-life replicas on walls in New York City, London, and Berlin. Read more!
Originally launched in 2007, Google Street View has spent the last five years collecting more than 20 petabytes of data, including some humorous and absurd photos (click here to see some of the greatest images ever captured by Google Street View) taken over 5 million miles of road in 39 countries. Along the way, the all-seeing Street View camera has captured thousands of unwitting bystanders, creating a landscape of blurry-faced pedestrians. Cirio printed life-sized posters of each figure on thin paper, affixing each image to public buildings using wheat paste, drawing attention to privacy concerns. The artist explains, “As the publicly accessible pictures are of individuals taken without their permission, I reversed the act: I took the pictures of individuals without Google’s permission and posted them on public walls. In doing so, I highlight the viability of this sort of medium as an artistic material ready to comment and shake our society.”
The project was funded by a residency at New York’s Eyebeam Center, but images have already begun to appear on walls around the world. The Street Ghosts website welcomes visitors to browse an interactive database that maps each screenshot, with accompanying links to related photos and documentation. Visitors are even invited to suggest new locations to be added to the series.
Images via Street Ghosts