Google Street View uses an algorithm to automatically blur out people’s faces. What would it look like if they blurred out the faces of supermarket products?
Recently, Google has begun taking street view into the interiors of high-end restaurants and businesses as part of an initiative called Google Maps Business Photos. All these interiors are spotless, and all this action is a movement towards the ever-increasing penetration of vision and visibility. But there are places that are invisible — perhaps as invisible as the blurred out people in Street View. I began to wonder: what would it look like for Google Street View to enter into a supermarket — and the kind of supermarket that would never volunteer to have its interior mapped by official cameras — and blur out the faces on all the products in the store?
In this project, I physicalized the blurred faces — Aunt Jemima, Little Debbie, the Quaker Oats man, the Utz chips girl — and attached them to product boxes in the Price Rite discount market in Olneyville, RI.