6 April 2010

Traces of a conspiracy

Exhibition announcement:

"In an information-based age, the ability to search and organize information amounts to power. Search engines shape knowledge, modulate web traffic, and contribute to the creation of new semantics and meanings. Currently, Google's influence is unparalleled. It has expanded the way that we search and find information, and inserted itself into nearly every web-based activity.

"The selection of projects in Google Art, or How to Hack Google illuminate and critique the influence of this expanding online institution. The projects include ad hacks that attempt to foil Google's seemingly unstoppable business machinery, playful re-interpretations of search results and alterations of its geographical worldview. Together, they elevate and critique Google's logic, while recognizing its own deepening relationship with our culture, behavior and lives."

Curated by Ana Otero for Rhizome, October 2007.

Included in Google Art, or How to Hack Google is Gregory Chatonsky's Traces of a Conspiracy (2006), which "combines Google Maps Satellite Images, Flickr Photos and found text to produce a generative narrative. Through zooming, panning and flashing, the piece evokes the paranoid and breathless tone of a conspiracy theory while leading its audience through a limitless dialog picked from random text found on the internet."

Also included is Escoitar.org, "an open, collaborative project that encourages the addition of recorded soundscapes onto online maps. Enabled by a hack of the popular Google Maps program, Escoitar.org (meaning 'Listen' in Galician language) was inspired by a particular desire to preserve the acoustic patrimony of GALICIA, a region in the Northwest of Spain. Through the visual network between locations and accompanying sounds, Escoitar.org allows people to understand landscapes, not only visually as places, but also via their autochthonous sounds."

Image: still from Gregory Chatonsky's Traces of a conspiracy (2006)

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Art from Space is an exploration of art-related phenomena that manifests in interesting ways on Google’s aerial maps. It is also an experiment in curatorial practice; collecting, presenting and contextualising items in ways that users can explore, free of curator-imposed framing and sequencing. This blog is Art from Space’s developmental musings made public, where items are introduced to the project in real time, rather than awaiting the grand unveiling of a completed exhibition. Specific locations of interest are highlighted in CAPS and linked to a map for further exploration. Visit the mother ship HERE.