Photographers used to wander the streets in the blazing cold, beating rain or melting sun. They would get lost, mugged, sea-sick and entangled in webs of people and situations. They would go searching for pictures where they were: out-there.
However, today and since the Google revolution (and a bit of privacy invasion) everybody has access to an incredible bank of images: Google Street View or how to see the world without leaving your living-room.
Canadian artist Jon Rafman declares that ‘the world captured by Google appears to be more truthful and more transparent because of the weight accorded to external reality, the perception of a neutral, unbiased recording, and even the vastness of the project’. He therefore spends his time going through our (Google) street (views) and captures glints, images, snapshots of our lives and the lives of others.
It’s already out there, the flying seagulls, the prostitutes, the half naked men, the burning building, the weird, the happy, the surprising. It’s quircky (I love the old man escaping via his window), disturbing (where has our privacy gone?), funny, beautiful or scary… it’s a new way to see the world: through many intermediaries and, surprisingly so, with spontaneity.
… Jon Rafman extracting the essence of our lives.