Google Street View summons panoramic, street-level images of cities and towns at the click of a mouse, wherever its car-mounted cameras can go. Nahanaeli Schelling, a recent graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), confronts Street View’s exhaustive documentation of where we live with her thesis project, “A Series of Walks/A Series of Walks (Displaced).”
In her statement, Schelling asks, “What information are we afraid to lose? Are we trying to declare our existence through the hyper- and over-documentation of our lives?”
“A Series of Walks” is part performance, part installation. Schelling attached 10 cameras to her body and tread the streets of New York with robotic movements, mimicking Google’s cameras and recording a nearly 360-degree view of where she went.
For the installation, Schelling built a telephone-booth sized box for the viewer to enter. With six projectors, the videos were played on the walls, simulating the Street View digital environment. A laptop adjacent of the box showed footage of her walking. Exhibited at ITP’s Thesis Week in May, you can watch a clip of the installation and Schelling’s performance here.