The camera van, despite not being something new, manages to attract the looks of many pedestrians. In turn, the curiosity is rewarded with a picture of the bewildered onlookers.
While Google’s camera cars are used for mapping streets, the camera van that you are about to see serves a whole different purpose. In the case of the pictures captured by Google’s cameras, the faces of anyone happening to be in them is censored, in order to protect the privacy of the people. In the case of the camera van, however, the faces of the passer-by are the main attraction. As this van is not something that you typically see on every street, the jaws of the onlookers often drop exactly when a picture of them is taken.
The pictures are turned into a gallery that is posted on the camera van website. Speaking of the photographer, his name is Harrod Blank and he has been working on this project since 1993. Two years later, Blank embarked himself on a journey across the United States. Since then, the camera van has not only photographed astonished Americans, but also bewildered British, captivated Canadians and gawking Germans, as well as the photographer himself. Hopefully, he will decide to visit more countries in Europe and why not, even on other continents. Even though there have been thousands of pictures captured by the cameras, only 100 of them were considered a form of art by the photographer, the rest probably being irrelevant.
In time, the camera van also became a cinema star. Automorphosis is a documentary that tries to answer the question: “How to turn a car into a work of art?” It is also the “main character” in a book titled “Art Cars”. The fans of the camera van can purchase posters of it, as well as car stickers and postcards.
There are two aspects, though, that should remain a secret. First of all, probably a lot of people out there are curious about how much this van is worth. Personally, I think that once a thing value is made public, that thing loses some of its mysticism. Secondly, I do not know how this car passes technical inspections, which are done periodically, at least in my country. I am not sure what car lies at the basis of this camera van, but the countless lenses and cameras certainly turned into something you do not get to see everyday.