[ISEA2013] Artist Statement: Paolo Cirio – Street Ghosts

Artist Statement

In this project, I exposed the specters of Google’s eternal realm of private, misappropriated data: the bodies of people captured by Google’s Street View cameras, whose ghostly, virtual presence I marked in Street Art fashion at the precise spot in the real world where they were photographed. Street Ghosts hit some of the most important international Street Art “halls of fame” with low-resolution, human scale posters of people taken from Google Street View. These images do not offer details, but the blurred colors and lines on the posters give a gauzy, spectral aspect to the human figures, unveiling their presence like a digital shadow haunting the real world. This ready-made artwork simply takes the information amassed by Google as material to be used for art, despite its copyrighted status and private source. As the publicly accessible pictures are of individuals taken without their permission, I reversed the act: I took the pictures of individuals without Google’s permission and posted them on public walls. In doing so, I highlight the viability of this sort of medium as an artistic material ready to comment and shake our society.
Street Ghosts locations in Sydney:
1-2) Sydney, George Street on Alfred Street, New South Wales, Australia – 2010
3) Sydney, George Street on Alfred Street, New South Wales, Australia – 2010
goo.gl/maps/j3APo – Under the bridge George Town.
4) Sydney, Hickson Road, Dawes Point, New South Wales, Australia – 2010
goo.gl/maps/iiRBT – Jogging next to the bridge

  • Paolo Cirio is a media artist who hacks and orchestrates media through videos, coding, social media, digital prints, public interventions and audience participation, in order to create controversial provocations and to tackle social issues. Exploring information as a magmatic material that can be shaped, he sculpts it by fabricating stories, processing data and contextualising contents, creating sculptural structures of information in which layers of media are composed in order to reveal unexpected forms. His projects have been sustained by awards, residencies and commissions and featured worldwide.