This online art piece by Paula Levine is an interesting take on GPS the origin of surveillance technologies.
“Shadows from another place” is a series of hypothetical mappings, web-based and site specific, that use Global Positioning Systems to imagine the impact of political or cultural changes that take place in one location, upon another. The projects reflect ‘turns of force’ where sites of dispute become the templates mapped onto other locations. The idea builds on our growing cartographic imaginations, attenuated and fostered by new technologies that are remapping our understandings of space and place, borders and boundaries.
The first in the series, “San Francisco <- > Baghdad,” responds to witnessing the US invasion of Baghdad on March, 2003 through radio, web, TV— and the spatial dissonance that emerged from that experience. Baghdad sites of the bombs and missiles from the first U.S. invasion are transposed onto San Francisco. Each shadowed Baghdad site in San Francisco is documented by photographs, maps and GPS coordinates, this last being the same technology used by the military to target original sites in Baghdad.
The implications of walking and immersing oneself in a historical context seems relevant here. The idea of taking on board more than just the sights that were originally around a place, but the way of life – good and bad.