This computer transmits a work by Swedish artist Jonas Lund, using a bespoke Chrome extension called Selfsurfing. The work creates a clone of the artist’s browser, transmitting in real time. Tabs are compiled by the artist, but are open to independent exploration by the viewer. Lund created this work after becoming interested in the solitary process of online surfing. In this work, the usually private act of web surfing becomes an interactive performance.
Brad Troemel and Jonathan Vingiano
Imagine if photos from every website you ever visited were streamed to another site, and mixed there with countless images from other, anonymous surfers? Welcome to the Surfcave! Sit back, relax and enjoy the hypnotic flow of images trailing in the wake of other invisible surfers. Surfcave is a Chrome plugin created by American artists Brad Troemel and Jonathan Vingiano. To participate, you must agree to your own surfing images being transmitted to the Surfcave: the lone surfer becomes both exhibitionist and voyeur. This work was created as a result of conversations between the artists on themes of privacy and identity online.
Most surveillance happens on the street. These days, it seems there are cameras everywhere, particularly in places of human transit. CCTV cameras monitor us, we capture each other via high definition cameras on our gadgets, satellites photograph us from the sky, and then there are the slightly sinister Google Street View camera cars. The five artists featured on this computer consider the mechanisms of surveillance in street photography and Google Street View in personal and incredibly beautiful ways.
X3: Buugle – was Google kann können wir schon lange!
Alexander Lehmann’s X3: Buggle – was Google kann können wir schon lange! is a satirical response to the panic that erupted in Germany following the introduction of Google Street View. As politicians capitalised on the public’s fear for privacy, fighting against Street View’s introduction to gain popularity, Lehmann created the concept of Buggle. His video demonstrates that the way the Government are currently running ‘services’ is far more invasive than Street View could ever be.
2008 – ongoing
For the 9-Eyes project, Canadian artist Jon Rafman trawls through images captured by Google Street View for moments of delight, whimsy, and poignant emotion: a cow tending its calf, people fighting in the street, a stray helium balloon against a blue sky. Rafman becomes the ultimate flaneur; a mediator between the objective robotic gaze and the human search for connection and community.
2010 – ongoing
Hasan Elahi was born in Bangladesh and raised in New York City. After being mistakenly placed on the US terrorist watch list and subjected to a six-month investigation by FBI, he responded personally with this project. In Tracking Transience, Elahi records the minutiae of his everyday life – meals, ticket stubs, as well as his current GPS location at any given time are streamed online. By undertaking such thorough self-surveillance, Elahi offers a pre-emptive argument for his innocence in a world where governments increasingly have greater powers of surveillance and authority to detain citizens with little or no transparency.
Self-Portrait (30:1) Watching you Watching me
Amanda Smith is a video artist and curator of the Bang! Short Film Festival in Nottingham, United Kingdom. Her video work, Self-Portrait (30:1) Watching you Watching me comments on the dynamics of voyeurism, and questions whether it might be possible to reveal oneself through another persons gaze.
Street Views Patchwork
French artist Julien Levesque’s Street Views Patchwork is a digital landscape collage, created from four ever-changing sections of Google Street View. The functionality of the original Google site has been retained, allowing the viewer to interact with the work and to create his or her own utopian vision.