The Camera in the Mirror Google

Art galleries have a lot of mirrors, and the robots are snapping oddly compelling pics of themselves in front of them.

Google’s Art Project was launched three years ago as a sort of Street View for museums and art galleries. Using panoramic cameras mounted on trolleys, Google captures the artwork and gilded halls of 250 institutions around the world—all the while trying to stay out of sight.

The curtain slips a bit in the Camera in the Mirror, a new Tumblr project by the Spanish artist Mario Santamaría that collects accidental self-portraits of Google’s hulking cameras while they go about their work. It turns out that museums have a lot of mirrors, and the cameras often photograph themselves in front of them.

Sometimes swaddled in silvery capes or attended to by ghostly minders, the android-like devices call to mind the Victorian mothers who would hide underneath blankets to keep their toddlers from squirming during portraits. Collected together, the Google-camera selfies are at turns unsettling, revealing, and absurd—unintentionally upstaging the art they’re meant to quietly document.

All images via Google.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in 2016.
    Transportation

    What Uber Did

    In his new book on the “Battle for Uber,” Mike Isaac chronicles the ruthless rise of the ride-hailing company and its founding CEO, Travis Kalanick.

  2. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  3. a photo of a NYC bus
    Transportation

    Why the Bus Got So Bad, and How to Save It

    TransitCenter’s Steven Higashide has created a how-to guide to help city leaders and public transportation advocates save struggling bus systems.

  4. A man jogs along the Atlanta BeltLine park as Midtown high-rises stand in the background.
    Life

    Why Greenway Parks Cause Greater Gentrification

    While green spaces are often linked to gentrification, new research shows certain types and characteristics of urban parks play a much greater role than others.

  5. A woman stands in front of a house.
    Life

    How Housing Wealth Transferred From Families to Corporations

    The Great Housing Reset has led to growing numbers of single-family homes shifting from owner-occupied housing to investment vehicles for large corporations.

×