My friend Sam linked to a really interesting project that Jon Rafman has done to collection Google Street View images as a work of artful photography.
Google Street View obviously isn’t photography; it’s just a fleet of vans capturing a photo of every roadway in the world (no big deal). However, when you take this spaghetti-against-the-wall approach and combine it with the kind of careful curation Jon Rafman has performed, I think you produce a kind of art.
This is crazy - the Google Street View van just happened to catch a field fire in progress. If someone hadn’t have gone looking for this, no one would have captured this really interesting moment in time.
Through some fluke in Google’s image stitching algorithm, we’ve got something like a person would have actually made in Photoshop. This photo emerged through an automated, mechanical process, but represents something more when we imbue it with meaning.