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Title: Whose streets? : a Rancierian analysis of photographic streetscapes in Google Street View
Authors: Buhagiar, Roberta
Keywords: Aesthetics
Interactive multimedia
Three-dimensional display systems
Google Street View
Geographic information systems
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Buhagiar, R. (2018). Whose streets? : a Rancièrian analysis of photographic streetscapes in Google Street View (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: In the contemporary moment, Google’s geo-photographic software Google Street View has reached quotidian status. With an aim to capture every single streetscape worldwide and reproduce the ensuing images in a web-accessible, panoramic format, what role does a maximalist project like Google Street View play in the politico-aesthetic sensibilities of a place? And what are the ensuing implications for the spectator? In order to chart potential answers to such questions, this dissertation anchors itself within Jacques Rancière’s understanding of politico-aesthetics and, through an expository and critical analysis, explores Google Street View in relation to Rancière’s conceptualisations of politics, aesthetics, agency and spectatorship. Chapter I begins by outlining a definition for the photographic act by drawing on seminal media-cultural theorists: Benjamin, Barthes and Sontag, that gradually moves to elucidate a definition for the photographic act within the context of Google Street View. The final part of this chapter moves into an outline of Rancière’s conceptualisations on the sensible, that will serve as the theoretical framework for the remainder of the inquiry. The ensuing chapter pursues the discussion by conducting a thorough analysis of Google Street View within Rancière’s definition of the aesthetic image and explores ways of how spectators are to react to and resist GSV’s clinical, detached gaze and estimations of the streetscapes it captures. The third and final movement of this inquiry turns towards a more productive take on GSV’s detached gaze through innovative adaptations of GSV’s images that give rise to an agentic, emancipated spectator, who is ultimately able to breathe life and invigoration back into the photographic act. Ultimately, it is revealed that Google Street View maintains a Janusfaced nature which asserts the rhizomatic nature of the photographic act and image as well as the essentially zoetic productivity that arises from the exertion of politics and dissensus by its spectators.
Description: M.A.ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2018

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