Would you like a souvenir photo?

Written by on 2nd October 2011 in Experiments, Thoughts with Leave a comment

This is a quick comp, playing around with more street view stuff. Using street view as a way to pretend you’re somewhere that your not. I imagine dropping into street view mode and immediately being greeted with this photographer asking for access to your laptop camera. If granted, you would then get a postcard mailed to you of your visit to Google Street View, from the perspective of the photographer of course. I like the idea of the camera breaking the screen’s barrier between you and the street view version of the real world, and the result of that digital interaction leaving the digital world again to return as a physical object. Also odd is that you as a human look at Street View through the eye of a non-human controlled camera while the non-human camera is looking back at you from the perspective of a human holding a camera. *mind blowing*

I remember going on a cruise with my family in high school and immediately after getting to an island this photographer ran up and started taking our photos. When we returned after exploring the island everyone’s photos were already embedded onto these commemorative plates. We were amazed by their production speed so of course my parents bought them and so now they have a plate with me walking down the ramp of our ship. It’s not even of any sort of interesting scenery! I find the whole notion of taking tourist photos and buying souvenirs to be sort of fascinating (obviously).

This is a pic from when I went down to MacArthur Park in Westlake earlier this year. Note that there’s not one, but TWO fake LA backdrops you can get your photo taken with! Why would anyone want their photo with this instead of the real version of LA available for free in any other direction? Is it because what we want to remember about our trip is not what it was actually like? Do we prefer the postcard version instead of the real thing? Why do we send postcards with photos on them that we didn’t even take? Because they’re better than the photos we can take? Is it less credible to have a postcard with a photo taken by the street view car? Isn’t it actually MORE authentic of an image because the human subjectivity of the image composition has been removed?

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