Art Fag City's IMG MGMT series is on a roll! This week they posted "The Nine Eyes of Google Street View" by Jon Rafman, a meditative photo essay on Google Street View, culled from the artist's personal collection of screen captures. See below for a teaser, full essay here.
One year ago, I started collecting screen captures of Google Street Views from a range of Street View blogs and through my own hunting. This essay illustrates how my Street View collections reflect the excitement of exploring this new, virtual world. The world captured by Google appears to be more truthful and more transparent because of the weight accorded to external reality, the perception of a neutral, unbiased recording, and even the vastness of the project. At the same time, I acknowledge that this way of photographing creates a cultural text like any other, a structured and structuring space whose codes and meaning the artist and the curator of the images can assist in constructing or deciphering.
"Spurred on by a discussion on Kottke.org, I decided it would be interesting to find out what the Starbucks Center of Gravity in Manhattan is."
Well, it means the exact place you can stand in Manhattan and be closest to ALL Starbucks. As if every single Starbucks was pulling you equally in its direction, this is the place where u could stand to feel the most Starbucks power...and not just within a few blocks radius, but for the whole Island! Think of it like being at the North Pole for overpriced coffee...The power center / death star if you will allow me to go that far....
"I would like every bodega in New York City to have a homepage."
"Bodegas on the bodega list come from off-premise liquor license listings on the New York State Liquor Authority website. Bodega images, locations, and names are gleaned by humans using the "IS THIS A BODEGA?" tool. Once a bodega has been verified, it appears on the list and on the red dot map."