Google Street View Vs. Boots on the Ground

Over christmas we were asked to look at this article, it compared similar projects of prostitutes on the backroads of Italy however Mishka Henner’s images were straight from google street view and Paolo Patrizi’s has actually gone to Italy and been to these places. There are pro’s and cons to both of these, here are a few:

  • Henner is showing us what we already know, it is available for us to see for ourselves if we want to, however this is an unbiased point of view, he hasn’t met these people and knows little or nothing about their lives, they just happen to be in the images
  • Patrizi may show us what we don’t know, however this is his opinion and it may be seen to be pushed on to the audience
  • Patricia’s work is more shocking, its not what we expect to see, it is more personal, does this have any censorship issues? Is it our business to go so in-depth into their lives?
  • By doing this Paolo and Mishka are both showing a wider picture and gaining an awareness of an issue, this may help prevent it in the future
  • Both Henner and Patrizi use different documentary styles to provide us with the same story, although Paolo actually goes to Italy and maybe has more facts he may also be pushing his opinion onto the audience, Henner isn’t doing this as the images aren’t manipulated or taken from any certain angle, its just as the GSV van has caught them
  • It may be questioned if Henner is making a big enough statement, it almost seems that it is part of life and nothing needs to be changed whereas Paolo’s work seems to have a certain direction and is asking for something to be changed
  • Is GSV a valid form of photography? Although some people may see it as lazy I believe it is a valid form, it may be different from actually going there but you are still choosing where to put that widow around the world, still curating the work, deciding what message that you want to get across
  • Henner’s work allows you to ‘keep a safe distance’, it allows you not to see things that you don’t want to, Patricia’s work might go a little too in-depth for many peoples liking, it is very personal
  • However it is also questioned as to whether we should be allowed to keep a safe distance, it is an issue that the world is currently facing and shouldn’t just be ignored
  • Henry work keeps us somewhat detached from the problem, it is quite emotionless where as Patrizi’s work allows us to feel emotion towards what is happening
  • Patrizi’s work engages only basic human senses and is a lot about the shock itself whereas Henner’s includes others such as texture, depth legitimate colour
  • Patrizi shows that these woman are actually humans and don’t deserve to be in this position, they aren’t just social narratives
  • Henner- this is how it is, nothing is changed by Google street view, just highlighting the problem

Within my project I want to experiment with what google street view can bring, I have pictures from actually being at the Chinatowns so I can compare these to the GSV images that I find.

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