Face to FaceBook

Face to Facebook is an installation piece created by Paolo Cirio as a third piece to his series, The Hacking Monopolism Trilogy. In this work he address the lack of privacy in the age of face book. Collecting 250,000 images from different account, they then run a facial recognition algorithm to categories their facial features. He then uploads these images on the a faux dating website, allowing people to see and connect with these people. Many viewers have mix reactions towards the piece many wondering how much data was scraped legally.

The things that happen on Facebook are really pretty meaningless. Not that they can’t have meaning, but simply that they don’t. Or, at least, they don’t until we get our collective hands on them. – D.E. WITTKOWER

Similarly, the creators of this piece mentioned that we put on a false persona on Facebook trying to portray the best side of ourselves.

The vast majority of pictures were both amateurish and somehow almost involuntarily or unconsciously alluring. And they are almost always “smiling”. – Paolo Cirio

On Facebook many present themselves base on Facebook primary function to connect and make friends. By placing these images on a dating website, Paolo Cirio, further emphasises on this shallow quality of making friends on Facebook. In the dating app, users use profile pictures to obtain the first impression of the partner before deciding to date them. These superficial qualities of attractiveness  are also used Facebook friends makings.So if the online persona is false, how can Facebook hold any meaning?

Personally, despite my inactiveness on social media, I still find myself censoring my thoughts when writing my post or comments. My online persona is vastly different from my RL self where I am more direct and crudely blunt. Facebook or Instagram don’t hold much meaning to me, as most of the post and photos are curated. however with the functions such as Instagram story, it allows people to capture that short moment of time, making it more genuine.

One thought on “Face to FaceBook”

  1. Rei, at the end of your essay you have made some very interesting points about how Facebook doesn’t hold much meaning for you, and I wonder if this could be tied more closely to Wittkower’s comments about the meaningless of social media. Now he is referring to the open nature of how meaning can be interpreted, which can be a good thing, however, for you, this meaningless has redirected your interest to Instagram, where I imagine you find more pleasure in telling pictorial stories. It might be a good idea to discuss why Instagram holds your interest. In regards to Face to Facebook, the issue here, as you point out, is how the meaning of our interactions on Facebook can be stolen and recontextualized. Perhaps it might have strengthened the essay to apply your very astute thinking about social media to support your critique of the artwork in question. Overall you have many interesting observations on social media that I look forward to discussing further.

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