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robertogreco : simonsellers   1

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth - Simon Sellars
"Google Earth is more than the God’s-eye view – more than just us mortals seeing through the eyes of God. In Google Earth, we are God. We see over, under, inside and out. We see into the beyond, with a second sight unavailable to our mortal selves. We see ghosts of dead friends and dead strangers. We see ourselves. If the colonial God’s-eye view in Mercator maps is an uneasy settling of the planet (hoping the savages will stay in their place and not upset the prescribed order), then Google Earth, with its forking paths Google Maps and Google Street View, is a parallel world bleeding into this one."



"Paul Virilio, urbanist and theorist of cyberculture, once told an interviewer about a science fiction story in which artificial snow was seeded with tiny cameras and dropped from planes. He explained, “when the snow falls, there are eyes everywhere. There is no blind spot left.” The interviewer asks: “But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind.” Desperate, I will dream that same dream, but even gouging out my eyes – all eighteen of them – will not be enough, for the imprint will remain, the augmented overlay, glowing like tracer bullets in the radioactive darkness of the mind’s eye. Remember, I can never unsee.

Then I will dream of death, but even death won’t save me, for I will have left enough data, enough tweets, enough cookies and enough honey traps from my online browsing patterns to allow unscrupulous marketers to harvest the information and construct a digital version of me. It will be a magnificent feat of malware, social engineering composed of my online leavings. This digital construct will traverse the Google Earth just as I do now. It will spam my friends and family, and it will tweet the same observations about Street View as I do. Actually, not “the same observations about Street View as I do”, but “the same observations because it is me”. No one will tell the difference. In the future, we are all sentient spambots.

My digital doppelganger will see me in Google Earth, reflected in the hubcap of the Street View car. It will see me reflected in the illusory facade of the PricewaterhouseCoopers building, watching myself watching the Barcode Project. It will see me in the machine, which has taught me how to remember a past I never had and a future I will never see.

The machine will teach my doppelganger how to live, at the same time as it teaches me how to die. No one will tell the difference."
maps  mapping  simonsellers  2014  googlemaps  googlestreetview  streetview  googleearth  cartography  time  paulvirilio 
june 2014 by robertogreco

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