Montreal-based artsit Jon Rafman’s collection of stills captured by Google Street View is hugely inspiring. He frames the way we think about perception, alienation and autonomy.
Street View photography presents a different perspective on the individual’s relation to his external world in comparison to art of previous historical periods.
In this instance the photographer is a Google car, mounted with nine cameras. It’s gaze is detatched from the subject - it witnesses but does not act in history. Street View ascribes no particular significance to any event or person making the photography artless and indifferent, without human intention. The images are therefore devoid of context, history or meaning.
We share Street View’s somewhat detached vision of the world. However by becoming aware of our gaze we can reframe our perceptions and see an alternative reality. Despite the impersonal nature of these settings the subjects are not simply objects of the robotic gaze of an automated camera. Rather this snapshot artist reasserts the importance of the individual. This altering of our vision challenges the loss of autonomy and in the transformation of our perceptions, a new possibility for freedom is created.
Can art change the world?
French street artist JR has just won TED Prize 2011 and announced his ‘wish to change the world’:
“I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world…INSIDE OUT.”
Get involved in this collaborative global art project by uploading your photos via the website www.insideoutproject.net/ These images will then be made into posters and sent back to the curator. You. Then all you need to do is find a wall, window or building and paste it up….
Might be cool if this was tagged, documented and discovered via streetartview.com/
UK street artist known by the moniker Slinkachu places tiny people in discarded rubbish, creating exciting installations only the hawk-eyed will notice.
Hoping to go check out his exhibition in London ASAP http://andipa.com/Exhibitions/Concrete-Ocean_art.php