Someone’s ALWAYS Watching…and it’s Usually Google

I think everyone has had a paranoid feeling now and then that they are being watched.  This could be a product of the ever popular spy films we watch on a regular basis  or the film-themes like those Hitchcock often used of the average man trapped in the middle of an extraordinary and dangerous situation (think Vertigo, North by Northwest and Rear Window). On the other hand, we also KNOW we are being watched nowadays by the roving eyes of sattelites, CCTV and Google Street View teams taking photo upon photo upon photo of everyday life It may not affect how we live our lives on the outside (unless you are a criminal planning your next heist) but who knows what the future holds?

This exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery is titled; ‘The Nine Eyes of Google Street View‘ and contains 2 rooms of large-format photographs which artist Jon Rafman has found after countless hours of sifting through google street view online.  He elevates the ordinary to the extraordinary (accidentally quoting 50 Shades of Grey) and shows us moments captured in time that we, in some cases, are not meant to see.

The voyeuristic feeling of the exhibition draws you in right away and I would hazard a guess that people spend much longer looking at these photographs than they would simple portraiture.  We look at them, trying to create a context for ourselves, a story behind the image captured in front of us.  The photos I’ve taken above were my favourites and show a butterfly mid-flight, a sleeping superhero and a child throwing a tantrum in the street.  While Rafman displays a lot of photographs of poverty and criminal and police-action, there are plenty of everyday life pictures as well making it a well-rounded view of all of the possible subjects Google Street View teams have recorded.

The exhibition returns to the Saatchi Gallery October 2nd for a month.  Do something outrageous on your front porch and maybe you will be Rafman’s next subject.

Ruby x


All photographs shown taken by Ruby Randolph