Houses of Street View – by Nadia Tan

A collection of houses, buildings, and scenes found on google street view.

*

I have always been fascinated by geography and place, with capturing moments that feel sort of unidentifiable yet universal and suspended in time. These themes have pervaded all my work in various media and are a big part of my personal photographic work.  

-Nadia Tan

*

IMG_6313IMG_6317

*

*

“In my normal life I am a film director/editor and visual artist, but I have recently been dealing with a chronic illness which has made it hard for me to do a lot of the things I normally do. Spending long hours on film sets and doing dexterous work with my hands are no longer possible for me, so photography is my one remaining creative outlet.

*

This may sound strange, but aside from being my career, making art has always been a bit of an addiction. I get a certain “high” off of the feeling of creating something from nothing and knowing it originated as an abstract thought and passed through my hands into the world of form. It’s like I am performing some type of magic – there really is no other feeling like it. “

*

*IMG_6326 IMG_6327IMG_6328 IMG_6329 IMG_6331

*

*

“But there are days when I can’t leave my house and sometimes even my bed, and that’s how @housesofstreetview came about. I felt the need to continue creating and so I turned to Google Street View. I would never have anticipated it, but the creative process is remarkably similar to that of photography. The images on Street View are collected without an artistic eye, there is no intention behind them – they are essentially just vast amounts of data.

*

As I am vicariously roaming the streets, I am looking for the light, finding just the right angle, framing and composition, paying attention to colour and the juxtaposition of objects. And I will take a screenshot only when all those things line up just so. Because of the way the google cameras work, the images are usually pretty wonky, so I take them into an editing app to adjust all the lines, fix keystoning and level the horizons. And then I work with colour and contrast to give the images a cohesive look so that these photos taken from various countries all over the world feel like they are from the same vague unidentifiable yet universal place. “

*

*

IMG_6322IMG_6332 IMG_6333IMG_6335

*


*

Nadia Tan is a Toronto-based filmmaker and visual artist.

See more of her work

INSTAGRAMWEBSITE