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CULTURE
A Series of Walks/A Series of Walks (Displaced)
A performance artist reinterprets Google Street View to create an immersive video installation
by Josh Rubin
on 04 June 2010
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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?"

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"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.

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