Paolo Cirio on Wed, 2 Feb 2011 16:09:35 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Face to Facebook. Stealing 1M. faces for a dating website - Press Release

Press Release, 2 February 2011. Berlin.

Face to Facebook

Stealing 1 million Facebook profiles, filtering them with faceâ 
recognition software and then posting them on a customâmade dating  
website, sorted by their facial expression characteristics.

In an attempt to free personal data as Facebookâs 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 Facebookâs constraints  
and boring social rules.

So we established a new website (lovelyâ 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.

Mixed media installation of Face to Facebook:
Premiere of the installation with more than 2000 printed pictures of  
faces at the Transmediale festival in Berlin.

The Hacking Monopolism Trilogy:
Face to Facebook is 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.

Authors' biographies:

Paolo Cirio works as media artist in various fields: netâart,  
streetâart, videoâart, softwareâart and and experimental fiction.  
He has won prestigious art awards and his controversial works have  
been sustained by research grants, collaborations and residencies. He  
has exhibited in museums and art institutions worldwide. As public  
speaker he delivers lectures and workshops on media tactics.

Alessandro Ludovico is a media critic and editor in chief of Neural  
magazine since 1993. He's one of the founders of the 'Mag.Net  
(Electronic Cultural Publishers organization). He also served as an  
advisor for the Documenta 12's Magazine Project. He has ben guest  
researcher at the Willem De Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. He teaches  
at the Academy of Art in Carrara.

Have fun and take care!
Paolo and Alessandro.

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