This book explores the idea of detachment and desensitization due to the internet, with the help of a series of provocative images captured by google street view. When the google street view project began, it captured a lot of perturbing sights. These were curated and shared on numerous blogs and social media.
The publication questions whether the detachment experienced by the google employee while documenting these moments is equivalent to the people watching them on the screen? Discrete and subtle visual cues contrasting with dry straightforward captions endeavor to evoke and test emotions.
Notes: A 200 page perfect bound publication with a soft cover. Self-published and designed at RMIT University, under guidance from Stuart Geddes.
The book is inspired by the essay, ‘journey to the center of the earth’, written by Simon Sellars. It points to the objective approach google has in looking at intense human emotion and disturbing situations. This book is an experiment where the reader attempts at indulging in the content that is partially disclosed and ultimately puts his feelings at a test.
The deliberate use of white space emphasises on detachment and emptiness while the bold transitional typography attempts at evoking emotion. The layout of the images is such that the images align back to back, this in a way represents the nature of google street view, where one can go only in linear direction : forward or backward.
The positioning of the index for all the images is in the center of the publication. The reader must turn the book upside-down to match the number against the image to see the unaltered photo. The different image treatments refer to an underlying categorisation, into four themes that emerged from the curated collection; gun violence, accidents, Loneliness, street fights. These images are captured in different parts of the world and each image has a time and location stamp for identification.
The image section is followed by a series of articles that popped up on google search when I was researching “detachment and internet”. While the beginning of the book presents a suspense, the articles put it in perspective also helping the reader to experience and form their own opinion at the end.