Performance Artists Infiltrate Google Street View

A couple of performance artists have managed to infiltrate Google Street View with some strange sights.

The guys, both former art students at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, thought it’d be interesting to “introduce fiction” into the photograph-based mapping service. They staged an all-out 17th century sword fight, a massive parade, and a marathon — among other things — just for the joy of seeing it all pop up indefinitely within Google’s official images.

The two claim their creation is the “first-ever integration of art” in Street View. More than a hundred people participated in the project, and now, tens of thousands will unexpectedly see it.

“You can navigate the street and discover the more subtle scenes as well as the spectacular ones,” says Robin Hewlett, one of the artists and organizers. “Turning onto another street, you might wonder if the person walking their dog was also staged. We’re interested in the necessity of sorting it out for yourself and, ultimately, the inability to do so — you’ll just never know for sure what is real and what isn’t!”

These guys went all out, too. Some of the more extreme scenes include “Narrow Escape,” in which a woman appears to be escaping from a window via a rope made from torn bed sheets:

And “Mad Scientist Laboratory,” in which some strange-looking characters are doing something with a “Love Laser” device:

That’s not even the half of it, either. A full list of the odd scenes is here — our favorite is “Bird Brain” — and there’s also a short documentary on the project, which is embedded below.

Here we thought we’d come up with some good online pranks. Our hats off to these guys!