The biggest photographic endeavour in the world today must be Google Earth, an attempt to photograph the entire surface of the planet down to every street and house. As a resource of photographic images it is immense, an archive of the physical world that Borges might have dreamt up. This megalomaniac project is upsetting a lot of people as it intrudes further and further into our private realm. We might feel our privacy is threatened, but we can threaten other peoples’ privacy whenever we want, just by looking. The images are free, and freely accessible, a mark of the populist, democratic world we have created.
Google Earth is an opportunity for creativity. Perhaps it’s not creativity of a high order, but you can make images of your own just by searching. Sometimes it’s a matter of sifting for images, and sometimes it’s a technical glitch that produces one. You could think of it as a new art medium, but that might be going too far.
A momentary delay in Google Earth transferring from satellite view to street view reveals strange worlds the software engineers never intended.
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Tags: google art, google earth art