1,000,000 ‘Stolen’ Facebook Photos and Other Public/Private Art

February 5, 2013 | Eugene Reznik

Hacker/artists Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico take the private information you post online and free the virtual you from the “you” you. Face to Facebook, showing in New York for the first time this month, is a multimedia installation of 1,000,000 appropriated, or “stolen,” Facebook profile pictures matched up simply by facial expression on a custom made “dating site” using facial-recognition technology.

The work is part of a new group show opening tomorrow at Parsons, what curator Christiane Paul calls the first exhibition in New York to present contemporary art exploring the impact of social media on our concept of what’s public and what’s not. The virtual entity that can always be re-appropriated and falls somewhere in between is part of a “cultural shift,” she says, “entailing a reformulation of our identity.” Using methods ranging from hacking to self-surveillance, the artists reflect on “profound changes in our understanding of… personal boundaries, and self-representation.”

Also included in the exhibition is ANIMAL favorites Eva and Franco MattesThe Others, a video installation of 10,000 photos the artists acquired through a software glitch that gives them remote access to personal computer files.

Now here’s a massive TIFF file of those appropriated Facebook pictures should you want to print your own creepy wallpaper.

“The Public Private,” Various Artist, Feb 7-April 17, The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design, New York, Opening Reception on Feb 6 at 6-8 PM. Images: Face to Facebook and the Others.