Kayla Kenny, “Street View”

The ever expanding evolution of technology has equally benefited and harmed humanity over the last few years. In the last three decades alone we went from giant brick cell phones and pagers, bulky desk tops and the beloved start up noise, to tiny smartphones that can fit the entire world into our pockets. Not only has this allowed great strides into our understanding of the capability technology holds (not to mention much convenience to the common citizen), but it has also opened us to a brand new world of danger. The boogey man that stalked the dark street corners for your children is now hiding behind a childish persona to groom them. The bullies at school or at work can now follow you back home through direct messages, comments, and vague tweets along with the other millions of people online who can target you just for the fun of it. The creeper in the shadows following you as you rush to your car at night, keys between your knuckles, now follows your every move through your social media and scares you with unsolicited nudes and threatening messages.

“Street View” explores the danger that the new technological age puts us in through by demonstrating how technology is tracking us everywhere we go, whether we realize it or not. This constant surveillance can be used at any moment by people with less than innocent motives and more than a little determination. The online aspect of this project shows pictures (taken both from surveillance cameras and stolen from the victim’s instagram account) and google maps that track the life of a young college student from August to November of this year. The markers on the google maps correlates to the locations of the subject in each photo. The book aspect is in the form of an unassuming marble notebook filled with the links and code-like writings for each of the pictures used. The book is meant to relate the technological to the human. Technology itself is not a danger: this is not a message saying that robots are going to take over the world. Technology is a wonderful thing and we should not see it as a separate entity from the humans who continue to build it and the ones who use it. The people and whatever they choose to do with it are always the ones to hold accountable.

The prevalence of social media has made us less wary of the information we share online. The age old phrase of “you never know who lurks behind the screen” is still very relevant today. We have to stay vigilant on what we post online and how others could be using technology. This piece aims to show just how dangerous social media can be.

To view the digital content of “Street View,” click on this hyperlink.