Cultural Fascism and Google Street View; BE Colloquium, 2014.02.20

"September 04, 1998: Entanglement and experimentation: or, Cultural fascism and Google Street View." by Cheryl Gilge. Colloquium in the Built Environment; February 20th, 2014

“September 04, 1998: Entanglement and experimentation: or, Cultural fascism and Google Street View.” by Cheryl Gilge. Colloquium in the Built Environment; February 20th, 2014

Questions:

1. How can a company develop so much resources to develop this free tool? “How is it.”
2. Why do so many people use it for so many different purposes? “Why is it?”

Some things Cheryl looked at:

A) Knowledge production
– street audits
– Place Pulse (MIT)
– CMU identifies cities’ distinctive details (via image data mining and analysis)
– OpenPlan: Planning Press, Beautiful Streets

Used as a visual objective index. Photo assumed to by authoritative.

B) Creative production
– artists mine visual archives
– painters use it. Bill Guffey, monthly Virtual Paint Out (blog)
– performance artists insert themselves into the view as the camera car drives by
– Music: Arcade Fire, A Wilderness Downtown
– Video: The Theory, Address is Approximate

Methodology
– phenomenology: thick description
– hermeneutics: horizon of meaning, historical conditions change over time
– critical theory
– DG
– assemblage (bloc of space-time)
– de/reterritorialization
– molar/molecular, line of flight. ((loose space))
(useful for seeing how people use it at different scales and how the company developed the tool)

Findings
– photo as empirical evidence
– neoliberal failure of govts abdicating their mapping duties; company rises up to fill the void
– tension: top down neoliberal nonsense // bottom up nature of open source movement
– “citizen cartographer” nonsense

Micro-fascism
– acquiescence of personal agency to another
– giving in, even craving discipline, for sake of convenience
– somewhat like bargaining with the devil because it’s easier

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