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about

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Googlegeist is an art project started by Chadwick Gibson in 2011. 

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Below are statements for each individual series. Check back for an umbrella statement for entire project and new work.

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For information on a specific image just click on image for permalink page.

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Mirrors Behind the Curtain

Over the past fifteen years Google has grown to become a ubiquitous omniscient entity, which has peered into almost every aspect of our public and private lives. It has documented everything from vast stretches of the earth’s terrain to the most personal emails. The word “Google” suggests a possible answer to almost every imaginable question. Google acts as both all-seeing God and prying Big Brother, a vast repository of objective fact and personal revelation.

Gibson’s series Mirrors Behind the Curtain reveals the self-censored workings of this all-seeing, all-knowing medium. The screenshots in this series are rare glimpses of Google’s elusive Street View camera, busy at work, virtualizing the interiors of different museums, castles, and institutions of power around the world. Unlike normal street view though, in which Google’s car and camera have been easily masked out, the museums’ and castles’ plethora of mirrors present a situation where Google cannot cover its tracks. These images are ambivalent portraits of the often invisible, panoptic power of Google’s observation.

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GG: MBTC (GSV)

Over the past fifteen years Google has grown to become a ubiquitous omniscient entity, which has peered into almost every aspect of our public and private lives. It has documented everything from vast stretches of the earth’s terrain to the most personal emails. The word “Google” suggests a possible answer to almost every imaginable question. Google acts as both all-seeing God and prying Big Brother, a vast repository of objective fact and personal revelation.

 Gibson’s Mirrors Behind the Curtain (GSV) reveals the self-censored workings of this all-seeing, all-knowing medium. The screenshots in this Google Street View-based exhibition are rare glimpses of Google’s elusive “Street View” camera, busy at work, virtualizing the interiors of different museums, castles, and institutions of power around the world. Unlike normal Street View though, in which Google’s car and camera have been easily masked out, the museums’ and castles’ plethora of mirrors present a situation where Google cannot cover its tracks. These images are ambivalent portraits of the often invisible, panoptic power of Google’s observation.

As the crown of the exhibit, a Google photographer was paid to virtualize the gallery space— with Mirrors Behind the Curtain screenshots displayed— for inclusion into Google Street View. The GSV version of the gallery is presented within the space, on a desktop computer, acting as a culmination and reiteration of Google’s limitless eye.

http://goo.gl/maps/yIxuW

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Virtual Bootlegs

These Google Museum View screenshots of canonical artworks— taken while in 3D Anaglyph mode, an option provided by Google while in Museum View— are meant to be projected in a physical gallery and viewed with 3D glasses. Due to their 3D effect, and virtual origins, the screenshots enter the physical gallery as Virtual Bootlegs— blurring the line between the physical and virtual gallery space.  

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G©©gle

On February 1st, 2011, Google launched an ambitious, mildly controversial, endeavor called Google Art Project.  The project which is an extension of Google Street View, allows users to “explore a wide range of artworks at brushstroke level detail, take a virtual tour of a museum and even build their own collections to share”.  Anyone with an internet connection can now visit some of the world’s most prestigious museums and in turn view many canonical masterpieces.  Quickly though, any user immersed in this virtualized environment will notice that many artworks have been curiously blurred out by Google leaving them unrecognizable.  This has been done, according to Google, for “reasons pertaining to copyrights”. This group of screenshots is documentation of this paradoxical conflict, and the seeds to a much larger project that I am currently finishing. Check back for updates.