Jon Rafman, BR-265, Barbacena, Minas Gerais, Brazil, (2012). Archival pigment print on aluminium. Seventeen Gallery.
It is not a good opening paragraph, as opening paragraphs go:
A friend of mine showed me how to use Google Maps. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It lets you use satellite images to look at locations all over the world. A few years ago, I was in a car accident.
Besides unnecessarily explaining Google Maps, “Satellite Images” begins by executing exposition with brutality and an utter disregard for the show-don’t-tell “rule.” But this is creepypasta, an authorless horror story from the bowels of the internet. A kind of new iteration of the urban legend, with the internet as its city, creepypasta generally takes the form of as FOAFlore (ie friend-of-a-friend lore), comments on a forum, or a final, strangled pleading blogpost, posing as authentic testimony rather than fiction. The genre thrives on anonymity and slipshod writing, both of which boost the stories’ presumed veracity. Will Wiles describes the genre as having “an eerie air of having arisen from nowhere… a networked effort to deliver dread in as efficient a way as possible.”