A Non-Virtual Facebook Wall
Written by Bwog Staff
In which Julia Butareva engages with Postcrypt’s “Exhibition” exhibition.
We know we leave our traces in cyberspace. They can be Googled in an instant, and more importantly Facebooked. It takes vigilance and strict use of privacy controls to keep our interests in “kayaking” and other outdoor sports hidden from public safety officials and potential employers.
But at least we have the power (now that the mini-feed controversy has died down), to decide to use those controls. But what if someone put your Facebook profile on a gallery wall? Esther S. White B ‘07, Naomi Nevitt B ‘07, and Nomaduma Masilda B’07, curators of the “Exhibition” exhibition at Postcrypt Art Gallery, did exactly that in a provocative installation. Reactions were varied. Some people tore down their pages. Here are the artists’ answers to a few of Bwog’s questions:
Were the people whose profiles are on display asked for permission? Did they volunteer? Does that affect the meaning of the piece?
Facebook profiles are freely available on the internet (despite any supposed privacy features of the site), which is why we did not ask for permission to use individuals’ profiles in the project. Asking for permission probably would have detracted from the work’s success because it relied partly on the viewer’s reaction of surprise at finding herself represented in the gallery space.
Was it a comment on the minifeed or just on Facebook’s general culture of exhibitionism?
The project was not a comment on any particular “feature” of Facebook, but more the way that people use it and its normal context.