We Are… Stalking Ghosts


We all love the Google machine… right?

It gives us all the answers we could ever need. Who, what, when, where, and why are all quickly explained simply by typing a few words into the search field.

Then there’s Google Maps. Combined with the strength of Google Street View, we are left with an absolute godsend. It’s my go-to when I’m trying out a new bar or restaurant and I want to see what the location physically looks like… You know, so I’m not wandering the streets like an idiot whilst my well-oriented friends are comfortably seated, sipping on some over-priced martinis (of which I unfortunately can never refuse), waiting for little ol’, punctual, me.

But have you ever noticed the faces that are sometimes captured forever in a moment of Google Street View? Multi-faceted Artist Paolo Cirio has and he’s making sure we know about it, one paste-up at a time.

As our real and digital worlds continue to merge, Cirio has begun to question how the everyday pedestrian is pulled from their private lives to play a part in the establishment of commercial giants, such as the trusted Google machine. The question is, where do we draw the line on our privacy.

It could be a woman waiting to cross the road, a contractor at work, or perhaps it was you walking down Oxford St yapping away on your phone. Regardless of your momentary doings, Cirio saw an opportunity to bring these virtual ghosts into our reality.

Street Ghosts is a project that began in 2012 as a rebellious stance. Cirio traces the Street View globe finding interesting characters that have been trapped in interesting situations. He then prints out life-sized paste-ups and displays them in their real life location, creating an immediate statement of the individual’s digital presence: a presence the subject is definitely not aware of.




His work can be seen in many cities, including New York, Berlin, London, Montreal, Bilbao, and even my hometown of Sydney:




Ironically, as Cirio continues to spread his street art mark, you can follow his self-titled “interventions” on his own Google Map. Go figure.


Keep an eye out gang, you may be the face of his latest digitally freed spirit…

Big Brother Is Watching.

(Gawd, I just said that.)

– Ness

Photos via Derek Mead and Paolo Cirio.

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