The nine eyes of google street view

A street view image can give us a sense of what it feels like to have everything recorded, but no particular significance accorded to anything.

Art Fag City, Jon Rafman, Google Street View
26 Little St SE. Atlanta, Georgia
The detached gaze of the automated camera can lead to a sense that we are observed simultaneously by everyone and by no one.

These collections seek to convey contemporary experience as represented by Google Street View. We are bombarded by fragmentary impressions and overwhelmed with data, but we often see too much and register nothing. In the past, religion and ideologies often provided a framework to order our experience; now, Google has laid an imperial claim to organize information for us. Sergey Brin and Larry Page have compared their search engines to the mind of God and proclaimed as their corporate motto, “do no evil.”

Although the Google search engine may be seen as benevolent, Google Street Views present a universe observed by the detached gaze of an indifferent Being. Its cameras witness but do not act in history. For all Google cares, the world could be absent of moral dimension.

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