Ever notice how all the faces are blurred in Google Street View photos? That happens thanks to a privacy-enabling robot. But it's not a perfect robot. The Google Street View robot not only blurs the faces of humans but also of statues, despite the fact that statues have no notion of privacy. Makes you think, doesn't it?
Prolific French illustrator Marion Balac certainly believes so. In a new work called Anonymous Gods, the artist collects Google Street View images that include statues of gods and their blurred-out faces. One's the Sphinx outside the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas. Another is the monument to St. Francis in Caninde, Brazil. There's even a giant Buddha on the side of a nondescript road in what appears to be China. So many gods. So few faces.
What does it mean? It means whatever you want it to mean. One one hand, it's certainly a statement of how automating our basic rights, like the right to privacy, is problematic. On the other hand, it's yet another example of Google's creepy Street View cameras being creepy. Inevitably, it's a funny little photo series featuring some pretty impressive — albeit anonymous — statues of ancient gods. [Marion Balac]