Face to facebook on Impakt festival

Face to Facebook on Impakt
3 - 6 November 2011 : The Right To Know: Free State
Alessandro Ludovico and Paolo Cirio

‘Face to Facebook’ is a project of the Italian artists Alessandro Ludovico and Paolo Cirio forming part of the Hacking Monopolism trilogy. This part of the trilogy goes into the fine line between sharing personal information and online privacy. For this project, the profile photos of 250,000 users were collected and algorithms were used to rank them into groups based on facial expression (‘climber’, ‘easy going’, ‘funny’, ‘mild’, ‘sly’ and ‘smug’). On the basis of the faces ranked into these groups, they developed a dating site where the images were tagged as ‘single’ and ‘available’. Or to put it differently, the smile once intended to win over the sympathy of a familiar circle of people, was now used for large-scale seduction of other Facebook users; a painful reminder of the consequences of sharing intimate information online. In this way, the dating site questions the issue of online privacy by zooming in on one of the most iconic web platforms.

In 2011 this project won the Prix Ars Electrona Award of Distinction for Interactive Art, and was widely reported in global media outlets such as CNN, Fox News and Der Spiegel.

Impakt festivalfestival

THE RIGHT TO KNOW

November 2 to 6, 2011 in Utrecht

We live in an information society in which data have become commercial goods and data are being stored and distributed in an increasingly massive manner. But how much do we need and want to know? When is it mandatory to have total transparency and when is it better to refrain from making data accessible at all or in a limited way only? How are privacy, efficiency and security balanced in this respect?