Performative Hacking Google Street View

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Two artists, Ben Kinsley and Robin Hewlett have taken flash mobs to the next level. They staged collective performances with the local community just as the google street car was driving through Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh. Viking fights, parades, love doctors and fleeing damsels in distress are now all archived on google maps for all to see. My favourite piece, for sheer bizarreness, is probably the giant chicken. The performance has a conceptual grounding in the current tension and fear about digital surveillance. It links quite nicely with Google’s current situation with China.

I think the artists could have pushed the idea a bit more. Performances could have been a bit more subtle, perhaps disguised as bizarre situations in a real context. The parade, for example, is rather what you would expect. If it was me, I’d like to stage lots of performances of people doing bizarre things they shouldn’t.. here’s the error thing coming back again.. if at the very least to add more variety to the peeing photo’s on google street view. More like this and this.

The piece is being shown at Manipulating Reality until January 17 at CCCS-Strozzina in Florence