Google Glass, The Corporate Gaze and Mine

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Molly Crabapple via Instagram

When you buy Google Glass, you are not a consumer. You are an Explorer.

Everything about Glass affirms your specialness. The Swedish modern showroom, where a hot guy tweaks Glass’s nose grips just for your face. The card that comes with Glass, calling you an "adventurer," a "founder." The fact that you must be invited to purchase your pair, since there are only 8,000 Google Glasses in the world.

When you wear Glass, you and Google are a team.

But explorers are not neutral. They are the shock troops of empire. The lands explorers traverse are later conquered by armies, their sacred objects melted down for gold. Glass Explorers continue the corporation's conquest of reality.

In December I did an art project called Glass Gaze. Wearing a pair of Google Glass that had been hacked by the journalist Tim Pool to live-stream, I drew my friend the porn star and aerialist Stoya. The interwebs could see what I saw as I made art. The model. The paper. The ink. The whole 19th-century practice of life drawing commodified and separated from me. I once tweeted, "Google Glass lets the government see the world from my perspective." With Glass Gaze, I was giving the network the same opportunity.

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