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The Invisibles

La dimostrazione della potenza di Google, che oscurando alcuni elementi, in questo caso persone, può cambiare la percezione che abbiamo di alcuni luoghi.

Questo progetto è l’evoluzione naturale di Google Explorer. Da tempo utilizzo Google Street View per esplorare nuovi posti in cui non ho ancora avuto l’occasione di andare, o di tornare in luoghi per qualche motivo significativi. In viaggio a San Francisco, facendo un giro nel centrale Tenderloin District avevo finalmente capito perché viene considerata la capitale mondiale degli homeless.

Tornando in quelle vie dal mio computer con la funzione Street View volevo studiare in che modo la zona si fosse evoluta nel tempo e capire quali fattori influissero nella scelta delle aree dove i senzatetto si ritrovano. Di solito sono strade a senso unico residenziali con pochi negozi e quindi bassa intensità di passaggio. E’ interessante notare come alcune strade siano considerate più “appetibili” di altre.

In quell’occasione, il 1 novembre 2019 scattai delle foto allo schermo del mio computer, che pubblico di seguito.

Come forse avrete notato nell’immagine in apertura, alcune sagome sono state oscurate. Tornando in quella stessa via, le immagine erano state cambiate, o meglio alcune parti erano state oscurate. Basta confrontare l’immagine sopra e sotto a questo testo per capire lo sconcerto che ho provato in quel momento.

Da qui il titolo, gli Invisibili. Google decide cosa mostrarci e cosa no. Con un filtro oscura cose, in questo caso persone, che per qualche ragione non vuole far apparire.

In realtà continuando a “girare” nel quartiere ho notato che non tutti gli homeless erano stati oscurati, ma a quanto pare, solo quelli che starebbero usando droga.

Senza entrare nel merito di cosa sia giusto o sbagliato, di cosa sia decente e cosa no, di cosa mostrare o cosa no, credo che questa sia l’ennesima (come se ce ne fosse bisogno) dimostrazione dell’enorme potenza di Google. Proprio come già accade nel motore di ricerca che l’ha resa uno dei colossi informatici più importanti al mondo, Google decide cosa mostrarci e cosa no e, dettaglio non trascurabile nell’era della cosiddetta “economia dell’attenzione”, in quale ordine.

Credo che la forza evocativa di questo progetto risieda nel mostrare le differenze tra mondo fisico e mondo digitale: in quest’ultimo le cose non sempre sono come ci appaiono e tutto è discrezionale, dopotutto a pensarci bene siamo in uno spazio provato con delle proprie regole. Se le accetti sei dentro, altrimenti sei fuori.

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