Regardless of where you fall in the Google Street View argument (privacy-stealing-instrument-of-evil obviously born from the fire and brimstone depths of hell OR the most-groundbreaking-idea-to-ever-be-conceived by the technological gods on high and the coolest darn thing since potato chips) this Tumblr by Canadian artist Jon Rafman is a must see.
In the last two years Rafman has plucked some of the most stunning and mind tickling images you can imagine right out of stark reality that is Street View. As you page through them it’s seriously hard to hold on to the fact that this collection of pictures was snapped by the neutral nine view camera perched on top of a Google vehicle. That they were essentially unseen and unobserved despite their being snapped out of the air and documented.
Paging through the screen captures it is easy to lose sight of the context in which the images were captured. It’s our nature to immediately apply a layer of feeling…a point of view to them…making it hard to believe that they were captured and stored with the total unfeeling objectivity of a machine.
Without a human intellect or a human heart to alter their reality, these images…these hundreds of thousands of pixels… just exist as flat data. But once observed they are transformed into art. I’m not sure if that art is beautiful…or sad…or uplifting…or heart wrenching.
Scratch that I AM sure it is ALL of those things. (Yes, I am feeling a bit philosophical this morning. Nothing a cup of coffee will not fix 🙂 )
Here are just a few of the many amazing images to be seen on 9 Eyes. Go take a look at the rest.