The Nine Eyes Of Google Street View

With all the strange and futuristic announcements from the Google conference recently, it’s high time for an exhibition looking at the voyeuristic world of Google Street View.

A reindeer running down Rv888, Finnmark, Norway, 2010.

Source: Courtesy of the Artist

A reindeer running down Rv888, Finnmark, Norway, 2010.

Opening at the Saatchi Gallery next month, photographer Jon Rafman’s new show The Nine Eyes of Google Street View draws together images accidents and incidents never intended for public consumption, as well as moments that look as though they could have been captured by a human photographer.

Jon Rafman Via Colombo, Mediglia, Lombardy, Italy 2009

Source: Courtesy of the artist

Jon RafmanVia Colombo, Mediglia, Lombardy, Italy2009

The exhibition will showcase the first part of Rafman’s ongoing series, which explores the supposed neutrality of Streetview’s images, and our natural human desire to try and look for meaning behind them.

Jon Rafman Rue des Poissonniers, Paris, France 2009

Source: Courtesy of the artist

Jon RafmanRue des Poissonniers, Paris, France2009

The ‘nine eyes’ of the show’s title is a reference to Street View’s nine-lens car-mounted cameras. Rafman is fascinated by the way the cameras capture images: unlike a human photographer, they have no agenda in what they capture, and no emotional sensitivity to the images they produce. A uniform gaze is cast instead – everything is photographed from a height of eight feet from the middle of the street.

Jon Rafman Via Colombo, Mediglia, Lombardy, Italy 2009

Source: Courtesy of the Artist

Jon RafmanVia Colombo, Mediglia, Lombardy, Italy2009

Rafman says, ‘This very way of recording our world, this tension between an automated camera and a human who seeks meaning, reflects our modern experience. As social beings we want to matter and we want to matter to someone, we want to count and be counted, but loneliness and anonymity are more often our plight.’

Jon Rafman – The Nine Eyes of Google Street View runs from 26 July – 19 August at The Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3

 

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