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A Spanish artist turns Google’s cameras back on themselves

We’ve all come to accept that Google is watching all of us, all the time. Google Street View, an idea that would once have been decried as an Orwellian public surveillance tactic, has now spread to 48 countries around the world. The technology has been so successful that now Google Street View cameras are being used in other Google projects, like the Google Art Project launched three years ago. One of the Art Project’s features is a “walk through” where users can virtually tour famous museums like the Musée d’Orsay in Paris or the Museum Of Modern Art in New York City; to capture the images needed for the tour, Google straps its panoramic cameras onto trolleys and sends them out for an afternoon of cultural appreciation.

Normally, this is a one-way operation as the cameras capture the world around them while remaining unseen themselves. But Spanish artist Mario Santamaria is turning the camera back on Google via his tumblr Camera In The Mirror. Santamaria combs through Google Art Project’s “walk throughs” to find fleeting images of the cameras as they pass by mirrors mounted in cultural institutions around Europe; wrapped in silver cloth and occasionally accompanied by ghostly human technicians, the images provide an unexpectedly intimate glimpse into the everyday side of technology. 

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