John Rafman - The Nine Eyes of Google Street View
Aptly titled after the 9 cameras that document our towns, cities and villages for the purposes of Google Maps; John Rafmans’ work picks out the scenes Google perhaps were not counting on collecting. This source of imagery has proved fruitful for other artists, perhaps notably - Mishka Henner, whose trawling of the site drew together images of prostitutes from around the world.
Rafman’s series also features scenes of oblivious prositutes; however, it also includes many other scenarios of everyday life that provide an unsuspecting insight into what goes on when we believe no one is watching. As a result, we see sights that make us smile, confuse us and astound. The autonomy of the original ‘see-er’ and the unquestioned availability of such images to anyone with acess to the interenet, calls into question the never ending debates regarding privacy and surviellance.
The more light-hearted images help to balance out some of those with more questionable content. We are forced to acknowledge that at the end of the day, these are images of everyday life, and everyday occurances that are going on all around us. Rafmans filtering of the extensive database of imagery allows us to share in the act of voyeur, viewing scenes from around the world through a filter of seeming disbelief at the knowledge of their origins.
To see more from John Rafmans series: http://9-eyes.com/
Documenting the Work of Contemporary Photographers
Please note, all of the images are the copyright material of the relevant artist(s)