The selfie is out of control. It's an epidemic that's clearly swept up the human population, and some of the animal kingdom. But now it looks like that was just the beginning, because even Google Street View cameras have started taking selfies. It's difficult to imagine what camera-selfies could mean for humanity, but the future looks dark. Soon everything will be angling in front of mirrors with cameras in hand — trees, buildings, household appliances. Yes, guys, the apocalypse is nigh.
Three years ago, Google launched its Art Project using its Street View camera technology to document the artwork in museums and institutions so that viewers can "visit" them virtually. Street View cameras are mounted on trolleys and glide through museums capturing the artwork, but once in a while they get bored and decide to have some "me time," particularly when there's a mirror present.
Spanish artist Mario Santamaría has compiled the Google Street View selfies into an art project on Tumblr called The Camera in the Mirror . In each picture, the Street View camera, perched atop its podium-like stand on wheels, is gazing into a mirror with a blank expression so empty and haunting that it makes Kristen Stewart look bubbly.
Haunting is not a word usually used to describe Google, but there's something undeniably eerie about these selfies. Maybe it's the Louis IV style gilded walls juxtaposed with modern robot-like cameras or that weird silver robe that some of the cameras wear that make them look like floating ghosts, but these are shots will haunt your dreams.
Besides the spooky mood of the photos, the cameras themselves appear all too sentient for my taste. There's something about the symmetry of the shots that make them look intentional and posed. The threat of a robot takeover is no laughing matter, and this just pulls that reality a little closer.
And besides, I'm not sure we can trust these Street View cameras to understand selfie-taking etiquette, which can be quite crucial in a setting like a museum. Remember that student who climbed onto a 19th century Greco-Roman statue and broke it when he was trying to take a selfie? How do we know these cameras won't resort to these antics next?
Before robots and selfies force the entire human race to succumb to their powers, study your enemy by taking a look at these strange shots.
Images: Google Street View/The Camera in the Mirror Tumblr