Here’s How One German Artist Turned the Tables on the Surveillance State

Florian Freier embraced [the reality of living in a surveillance state] and turned it against Germany’s surveillance state in his project Cached Landscapes, using Google Maps to watch the watchers. The irony is he didn’t take the photos, or even the screenshots featured in his elaborate composite images. All of them were pulled from a subfolder holding a thumbnail cache of every web page he visits. It’s a fascinating yet unsettling look at observation and surveillance, proving that even when you’re spying on others, someone probably is spying on you…

Some time before beginning the project, Freier learned every time he visited a page or clicked around on a map online, his browser cached an image—something he discovered while digging through his hard drive. For Cached Landscapes, he did it intentionally, using Google Maps to explore sites believed to be key to German’s signals-intelligence (SIGINT) apparatus—US and German military bases, embassies and the like…

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