In London, they had a Waldo sighting. In Pittsburgh, they inspired a mock swordfight. In Toronto, they may get zombies on to the streets.
Wherever they go, Google’s Street View cars — which use roof-top cameras to tape streetscapes for the benefit of online multitudes — stir theatrical and political reactions.
The chance of a Street View curtain call is spurring Toronto alternative arts and culture groups to make ready.
Street performers, artists and cycling groups are sharpening their acts to make a visual statement if one of the conspicuous sedans comes driving down their road.
“We want to say to Google and the rest of the world that we’re aware of the somewhat creepy nature of this,” says Ryan Ringer of Methinks Presents, a conceptual art troupe.
Ringer is making video camera mascot heads and shirts that say, “We’re watching you,” which he and others hope to wear while swarming a Google car.
Google cars will be taking 360-degree photographs on public roads in 11 cities across Canada in coming weeks. Street View is a Google Maps feature that allows users to explore neighbourhoods through panoramic images.
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