The Google camera sure is vain. It has taken advantage of Google’s scheme to capture the world’s most ornate buildings and art galleries by snapping selfies in these spaces’ fancy mirrors, as artist Mario Santamaria reveals in his Tumblr, “The Camera in the Mirror.”
Google’s Art Project, launched three years ago, sends panoramic cameras mounted on trolleys through museums and institutions around the globe, including the MoMA, the Tate, and the Smithsonian. It offers virtual tours and high-res images of their collections to the public–a kind of Street View for the art world. The camera is supposed to stay out of sight, of course, but since museums have a lot of mirrors, it couldn’t avoid capturing its own irresistible image at times, whether next to a portrait of Bill Clinton, under glitzy chandeliers, or near a ghostly figure of a museum visitor.
Santamaria has collected these instances from the Google Art Project archives. The series dips into the uncanny–the camera appears to be sick of doing all the looking and to want to be looked at, to have recognized itself and to think that self looks damn good. It seems to make sure to get its best angles, dressed up in its fancy silver cloth, posing in the world’s most glamorous galleries. Even inanimate devices have succumbed to the selfie craze.