Where many see problems and malfunction, Italian artist Emilio Vavarella sees art. For his latest project “Report a Problem,” he spent a year compiling 100 digital photographs of Google Street View glitches. Street View is Google’s high-tech response to the everyman’s map, which transforms ordinary 2-D space into a 3-D experience via nine-eyed robots and some serious software. The aesthetic errors featured in this series include warped images, missing censorship, mysteriously appearing objects, and incorrect, often psychedelic, coloring. Vavarella’s series turns what is usually found irritating into something beautiful.
The series’ concept is as intriguing as its aestheticism. Vavarella is interested in the fallibility of even our most highly sophisticated machinery and programming. Even though Google Street View is at the forefront of technological innovation, it’s still viable to error. “The great thing about being human, though, is that we have the capacity for finding beauty in these glitches.” Vavarella says. “These technological errors help us to remember that even machines slip up, but they can’t have fun with these errors the way we can.”
“Report a Problem” is only the first installment of a larger project the artist is working on, called “The Google Trilogy.”
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