Being human: bringing the personal to Google Street View
When Google’s engineers developed Street View they probably didn’t imagine that it would provide contemporary artists with such a rich vein of visual material. German photographer Michael Wolf has used it to capture a series of “unfortunate events” — fights, accidents and fatalities — while US-born Doug Rikard used the technology to present a portrait of American life. Berlin-based Russian artist Viktoria Binschtok has taken this a step further by adding a human dimension to her images. In her 2013 book World of Details Binschtok juxtaposes black-and-white found images from the Google Street View archives with analogue shots taken at the same location. Instead of capturing the same scene, she brings a touch of warmth to her images by zooming in on a single detail. In this way, Binschtok reveals the gap between the indifference of Google’s cameras and her own more personal gaze.
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