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Accidental imagery

Life, as captured on Google Street View.

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A van on fire, kids ankle-deep in an inflatable pool, provoked people (mooners not included in the slideshow above), many apparent prostitutes, swimmers, climbers, congregators, arrests in progress, and many simply gawking at the camera, including penguins on an ice floe and one ear-flapping elephant. Powerful visual compositions existing at one moment, in one place, from one angle. Each has been found in the colossal repository and experience known as Google Street View.

Jon Rafman is an artist engaged in a long-term project of collecting and curating these images. He displays them on his blog Nine Eyes of Google Street View and is currently showing a selection in “Free” at the New Museum in New York City (on view until Jan 23.) The show gathers works that speak to the incredible abundance of the Internet, while examining the changing relationship between public and private space.

Below is a slideshow featuring some of the images Jon Rafman has found. We’ve also included a streetwide art project in Pittsburgh and some drawn from the blog Street View Fun.

Have you found street scenes of your own? Share the links in the comments.

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