This 404 Message is Anti-Google Art

MTO’s “We Live On Google Earth” provokes debate on corporate hegemony and censorship.

Earlier this year, Google announced its new street art project, an ambitious attempt to memorialize street art from around the world before the pieces get whitewashed or painted over. But while Google has the support of famous Obama poster-maker Shepard Fairey, it’s also been the target of criticism from other artists. Among them is MTO, a French artist who debuted three new pieces in the Italian coastal town of Gaeta that challenge Google’s hegemony, imagining a dystopic future in which all art and expression are mediated through and curated by Google.

Titled “We Live On Google Earth,” the project, which was created for the Memorie Urbane Festival in Italy, features a large painted 404-message declaring the “Mural Not Found.” Another mural, close by, is composed of two loading symbols and the words, “Loading... Please Wait.”

The two murals are accompanied by a billboard of a mock front page for The Sun newspaper in the year 2020. The headline declares, “Computer Says No.” The text beneath it reads:

“In the small city of GAETA, Italy, a giant 125m (471 ft) wide mural by French street-artist MTO has been silently censored by Google CORP. Is this the first case of artistic censorship on our good old Google Earth? One thing is for certain, it’s sure to open a huge can of worms, as governments around the world consult their top legal minds and grapple with the implications for freedom of artistic expression. The censorship happens against a backdrop of growing international revolt against Google’s global supremacy in information control. NATO is now thought to be looking at all options to overturn the decision and thereby prevent a massive worldwide protest in the artistic and journalistic worlds.”

MTO visualizes the world as a “digital planet,” in which Google is an omnipotent ruler, with control over every message and image that is presented to us. “We Live on Google Earth” is an attempt to disrupt Google Street View as a “trojan horse,” lodging messages of dissent within Google itself. It examines issues of censorship and corporate monopolies, all the while attempting to co-opt the very distributional channels it hopes to critique.

The mock front page also includes headlines reporting that water prices have reached a “record high” and the country of Palestine is “no more.” But while these news items are faked, they bear a startling resemblance to reality, gesturing towards the Irish water protests, worldwide droughts, and the latest assault on Gaza. These messages, deployed together, provoke debate on private ownership and the monopolization of land and resources. But while they arrive to us from MTO’s imagined future, Google’s increasing pervasiveness in both our private and public lives force us to wonder whether we’re not living them as realities already.

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.


In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News