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Google Street View's Artistic Lens

A Tumblr account celebrates the accidental as art.
November 16, 2010, 5:51pm

As the Google Street View car roamed the seven continents, snapping a panoramic view of the world with its voyeuristic, autonomous gaze, it captured more than just an image of your town. Among the vistas and empty streets it caught, unaware and completely by chance, some captivating images of both the human and animal worlds. Strange snapshots featuring the incomprehensible, the seedy, the amusing, and the ironic can be found in the depths of Google Street View’s archives.

People have been uncovering all sorts of weird images ever since the project debuted in 2007, but now artist Jon Rafman is collating those images on this Tumblr account, and they make for interesting and surreal viewing. The artist writes that the modern age found-art project, allows him "the extraordinary opportunity to explore, interpret, and curate a new world in a new way…The collections of Street Views both celebrate and critique the current world. To deny Google's power over framing our perceptions would be delusional, but the curator, in seeking out frames within these frames, reminds us of our humanity. "

Rafman’s work is part of a current exhibition at the New Museum in NYC entitled Free.