Thursday, October 11, 2012

Street Ghosts Artist Paolo Cirio Speaks Up About Going Against Google (PHOTOS)

Specifically, Cirio's beef is with Google Street View, the web giant's mammoth project providing 360-degree street-level viewings of the world's cities. He sees a conspiracy in it, or at the very least, a win of profit motive over principle.
"It's interesting to me how a company can takes pictures of the all world's streets and sell them back to people, assembling basically an huge repository of the world and monopolizing it. We all know that knowledge means power," Cirio says of Street View, in emails to the Huffington Post (Google Street View is free to use, but that hasn't stopped Cirio's crusade).
To draw attention to Street View's problems, Cirio's turning what he considers the most problematic aspect of the project, the permission-less photographing of people, into art. To do this, he's taping pasteboard images of people who appear on Google Street View on walls in Berlin, London, New York, and more cities, if he can help it. He says fellow artists and viewers have already contacted him and asked if they can put up images inspired by Cirio's Street Ghosts project in Hong Kong and Sydney.
Wrote Cirio to the Huffington Post, "I'm going to ship posters ready to affix on walls to everyone who asks me, in order to spread them everywhere."
A former street artist turned digital, this is Cirio's first piece that combines the two contexts -- so it's no coincidence that many of his photos show up next to old, elaborate lines of graffiti (Cirio says he looks for walls where the posters "can stay as long as possible"). We at Huffington Post exchanged emails with Cirio, who since 2002 has been traveling the world redistributing books found on Amazon and promoting a project that encourages peer-to-peer money-sharing using mock-VISA cards.

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