Nine Eyes of Google Street View

Nine Eyes of Google Street View is both an archival project and a conceptual meditation on the state of photography in a time of automated imagemaking on a massive scale.

In 2008, Jon Rafman began to collect screenshots of images from Google Street View. At the time, Street View was a relatively new initiative, an effort to document everything in the world that could be seen from a moving car. A massive, undiscerning machine for image-making whose purpose is to simply capture everything, Street View takes photographs without apparent concern for ethics or aesthetics, from a supposedly neutral point of view.

Rafman conducted a close reading of Google Street View and began to isolate images from this massive database, publishing them on blogs, as PDFs, in books, and as large C-prints for gallery exhibition. In so doing, he reframed them within longer histories of photography and painting, raising questions about the meaning and function of these images and their implications for artists and image-makers.”