Face to Facebook
Posted In: activism, facebook, net art, social media
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Face to Facebook is the latest project by Alessandro Ludovico and Paolo Cirio, the third work in a series that began with Google Will Eat Itself and Amazon Noir. These works share a lot in terms of both methodologies and strategies. They all use custom programmed software in order to exploit (not without fun) three of the biggest online corporations (Google, Amazon and Facebook), exploiting conceptual hacks that generate unexpected holes in their well oiled marketing and economic system. Face to Facebook is currently on view as an installation at Transmediale Festival in Berlin.
This is how the authors explain this new, provocative net artwork:
“Stealing 1 million Facebook profiles, filtering them with face-recognition software and then posting them on a custom-made dating website, sorted by their facial expression characteristics.
In an attempt to free personal data as Facebook’s exclusive property we spent a few months downloading public information from one million profiles (including pictures).Immersing ourselves in the resulting database was a hallucinatory experience as we dove into hundreds of thousands of profile pictures and found ourselves intoxicated by the endless smiles, gazes and often leering expressions. After a few weeks we had to face the evidence. All that people wanted was to attract new people, have more relationships, to express and receive love through their digital traits. But they were trapped by Facebook owning their data and restricting their actions with primitive privacy rules. They wanted more than just their restricted circles of “friends” and they wanted it quickly and easily.
Our mission was to give all these virtual identities a new shared place to expose themselves freely, breaking Facebook’s constraints and boring social rules. So we established a new website (lovely-faces.com) giving them justice and granting them the possibility of soon being face to face with anybody who is attracted by their facial expression and related data.
Now they are there, in full effect, free to keep in touch with a whole world of men and women and anything in between. And we accomplished our mission: the final piece of the free relationships interface is now running.”