Any fan of the niche sub-genre of supernatural techno-horror should get a kick out of this image series by Italian artist Emilio Vavarella, who spent a year cruising Google Street View searching for surreal-looking errors. Sure, the screenshots of digitally disfigured houses, street corners, and thoroughfares he amassed for Report a Problem—a collection of 100 of his favorite glitched-out Street View tableaus—are probably just the result of a few algorithmic hiccups, but what if they were something more? Windows into another dimension? The digital traces of poltergeists? A sentient mapping program's cry for help? Quick, someone get M. Night Shyamalan on the phone!
Thankfully, Vavarella's approach is a little more lighthearted and a little less cliché-ridden than all that. As the artist told Wired, "These technological errors help us to remember that even machines slip up. But they can't have fun with these errors the way we can." The deconstructed, fuzzed-out, and psychedelically retouched homes of Vavarella's series are a definite highlight, a kind of found-art parallel to what other architects and artists are doing to encourage us to think about buildings differently.
Report a Problem is one of a trio of Street View-related projects Vavarella finished last year. Another shows Google's car-topping nine-eyed robot cameras catching glimpses of their drivers, and a third finds them inadvertently documenting the remnants of traffic accidents. Head over to Wired for more trippy phantom homes.
· These Glitches From Google Maps Are Worthy of an Art Gallery [Curbed National]