On Counter-Mapping and Media-Flânerie: Artistic Strategies in the Age of Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Street View



This paper revolves around a series of media art projects that present creative uses of technological errors and glitches in order to subvert the logic, processes and aesthetics of digital mapping technologies. The first scope of this paper is to frame these projects as strategies of counter-mapping adopted in response to the rise of mapping technologies such as Google Maps, Google Street View and Google Earth. The second scope is to describe the subjects behind counter-mapping strategies as media-flâneurs and media-flâneuses: experimental practitioners of new forms of networked wandering. Finally, the third scope is that of sketching the image of the map as dispositif: an ever-changing net of subjects and objects, articulated across different spaces and media, constituting the background of any counter-mapping practice.


Google Maps Google Street View Google Earth Counter-mapping Cartographic dispositif Flânerie Media-flânerie Media-flâneur Media-flâneuse Technological error Glitch Media art New media 


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Art Projects Mentioned Within the Text

  1. Amerika, Mark. “Google-Assisted Living”:
  2. Asendorf, Kim. “Maps”:
  3. Bartholl, Aram. “Map”:
  4. Cadioli, Marco. “Overdata”:
  5. ———. “So Far and Yet So Close”:
  6. Cirio, Paolo. “Street Ghosts”:
  7. Eldred, Juliet. “Postcards from the Void”:
  8. F.A.T. Lab. “Google Driverless Car”:
  9. Freier, Florian. “Cached Landscapes, Ionosphären Institut Niederhausen”:
  10. Henner, Mishka. “Dutch Landscapes”:
  11. Hobson, Aaron. “My Street View”:
  12. JODI, “”:
  13. Levesque, Julien. “Street View Patchwork”:
  14. Nold, Christian. “Greenwich Emotion Map”:
  15. Odell, Jenny. “Satellite Collections”:
  16. ———. “Signs of Life”:
  17. Passa, Chiara. “Live Architecture”:
  18. Rafman, Jon. “9-Eyes”:
  19. Rickard, Doug. “A New American Picture”:
  20. Santamaria, Mario. “The Camera and the Mirror”:
  21. Schwarz, Daniel. “Juxtapose”:
  22. ———. “The Mexico—United States Border”:
  23. Segni, Guido. “A Quiet Desert Failure”:
  24. ———. “Google Is Not the Map”:
  25. Smits, Helmut. “Dead Pixel in Google Earth”:
  26. Sobecka, Karolina. “Gifting Last Clouds”:
  27. Valla, Clement. “Postcards from Google Earth”:
  28. Vavarella, Emilio. “Michele’s Story”:
  29. ———. “The Driver and the Cameras”:
  30. Zucconi, Damon. “Fata Morgana”:

Other Relevant Projects Engaging with Google Mapping

  1. Bartholl, Aram. “15 Seconds of Fame”:
  2. Binder, Justin. “Vacated”:
  3. Cintré, Gaëlle. “Border Patrol”:
  4. Luigi Console and Domenico Barra. “Mighty KongBot”:
  5. Nixdorf, Meike. “Your Earth Transforms”:
  6. Odell, Jenny. “Re-enactments”:
  7. Root, Peter. “Digital Detritus Dover”:
  8. Segni, Guido. “A Lonely Google Space Oddity”:
  9. Treccani, Carloalberto. “Google Streetview”:
  10. Utter, Shaun. “Random Google Maps”:
  11. Waller, Angie. “The Most Boring Places in the World”:
  12. Zanni, Carlo. “Self-Portrait with Dog”:
  13. ———. “Self-Portrait with Friends”:

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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