We watched the ghosts of Google Street View come to life

Paolo Cirio brings ghosts to life. At least, he pulls them out of their eternal resting places in the digital expanse of Google Street View and paints them into three-dimensional reality. Since last year, the Turin-born artist has been creating life-sized portraits of pedestrians, city-dwellers, and anyone else caught by the roaming eye of Google’s slow-cruising surveillance mobiles. The ghosts have haunted the streets of London, Berlin, and New York City.

It’s a blunt but clever undertaking. Cirio scans Street View for locations or people he finds interesting, settles on a subject, and prints them out on a large sheet of poster paper. He then takes the inevitably blurry and pixelated person and slathers them onto the exact spot where they’ve been immortalized on Street View—thus becoming a real-life Street Ghost. Viewed on the computer screen, it can be hard to tell the Street View still from the physical apparition.

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