The mysterious artist that is Google Streetview

Yesterday, I saw the Google streetview camera car in my city – twice!

corner of John and Hunter

Hopefully, there will be two pictures of me soon on streetview in Hamilton – one waving at the camera from the corner of James & Cannon and the other from near the bus station. At the very least, I got a wave back from the gentleman driving the google car. Also a bonus is the fact I was wearing one of my new t-shirts I silkscreened this weekend (see post below). Is it silly for me to feel so giddy for having a chance to be included on this service? I feel like I have just had my portrait taken by a famous artist.

Well, hold on, I guess that won’t happen because Google now blurs the faces of people captured on their streetview cameras. But my artwork on my shirt will hopefully not be blurred out.

Though I think of the service as a giant artwork by a giant entity, I know of a lot of artists who are doing really interesting work by pulling stills of scenes that the camera happened across.

So I decided to look for sublime, poignant scenes myself and decided to look along forested, remote areas in eastern California and the results are below. I could probably spend the rest of my career doing this – way too much fun. Anyways, an aspect that fascinates me is the automatic face blurring algorithm and this seems to apply to facial-esque compositions the service finds in nature as well. See below.

I jumped into an initially very strange view – parts of the landscape were missing or stretched. Had I lucked into a crack in the fabric of reality?

Yes, I had landed inside this cliff. I felt like Buckaroo Banzai. Once I moved outside of the cliff, i could not venture back into it.

Moving down the road a bit, I saw an example of the facial blurring script in action in the bush on the left. A mystic experience of a face in the bush? Google seems to think so.

Upon further inspection from a different angle, the “face” disappears.

Further along, we start to see patterns of light cascading. If this was real life and I was there, I would be totally freaked out. I also feel like I could be the first person to view some of these angles in this remote area this way. Does that make me some sort of explorer?

More ripples of light with two tentacles reaching out from the sun. Google street view is, in a way, the view of the earth from the eyes of an H.P. Lovecraft monster.

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