Alyssa Shea
patchchinatown.jpg

Surreal Street View

An intervention in Google Maps’ navigational authority, reclaiming the representation and visual identity of the spaces we inhabit.

Reliance on Google Maps’ algorithmic gaze upon the world threatens our innate ability to orient via personal observation and perambulation. The effects of this crutch reach beyond wayfinding and fundamentally transform the richness of city street life.

An attempt to jam the system from within, this body of work “incorrectly” employs Google’s image-stitching tools to produce alternative street views infused with the human sensibility of traditional street photography. The resulting photo spheres live as surreal vortices inside Google Maps under mundane geotags, where they await unsuspecting users as unexpected interventions.

The collages, comprised of images framed and focused by the human eye, but stitched together by computer vision, disorient and render any navigational use futile. Yet, from their patchwork quilting emerges a sense of place unique to each location; perceivable by humans alone.

Surreal Street View

An intervention in Google Maps’ navigational authority, reclaiming the representation and visual identity of the spaces we inhabit.

Reliance on Google Maps’ algorithmic gaze upon the world threatens our innate ability to orient via personal observation and perambulation. The effects of this crutch reach beyond wayfinding and fundamentally transform the richness of city street life.

An attempt to jam the system from within, this body of work “incorrectly” employs Google’s image-stitching tools to produce alternative street views infused with the human sensibility of traditional street photography. The resulting photo spheres live as surreal vortices inside Google Maps under mundane geotags, where they await unsuspecting users as unexpected interventions.

The collages, comprised of images framed and focused by the human eye, but stitched together by computer vision, disorient and render any navigational use futile. Yet, from their patchwork quilting emerges a sense of place unique to each location; perceivable by humans alone.

 

Hell’s Kitchen

— Lower East Side —

— Chelsea —

— Harlem —

— Chinatown —

— Upper East Side —

— Greenwich Village —

— Financial District —

— Upper West Side —

— Midtown East —