Face to Facebook by Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico ~ Source Image: Artists' Website

What happens when you gather one million stolen Facebook profile photos, filter them through face-recognition software, put them on a dating website, and show the work internationally? You’ve got some thought-provoking art.

If you haven’t seen or heard of this project, I suggest you check out the genius behind Face to Facebook created by Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico. The project is the third installment of The Hacking Monopolism Trilogy. By the way, if you’re huffy and puffy about art like this, you’re probably the same person that says, “My kid can do that!”, when you look at Modern Art. Or, you’re hyper-vigilant and quick to say, “What about my privacy?”. To remind you, your kid didn’t do it (case closed). About your privacy, change and check your settings and starting educating yourself. Still concerned about your privacy? Keep a slambook, lots of stamps, and hush.

This is art.

Why and how, you ask? Face to Facebook forces the viewer to contemplate the age of social media and how one differentiates from their physical existence. Cirio and Ludovico are providing some hefty culture criticism and, well, I enjoy the philosophical, social, cultural, and economical underpinnings of this work. Again, check it out and feel free to share your comment and thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

In early October, I wrote a Shotgun Review for Art Practical on the opening of the Ever After exhibition at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland. Over the weekend, I attended the closing exhibition, which included some wonderful performance pieces. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of performance art but when it’s done well, it’s quite the experience. Below, I’ve posted a few photos of my favorite pieces at the closing. Reflection to follow.

Please click on the images below to learn more about the artists.

Artist: Emmanuelle Namont Kouznetsov
Artist: Justin Hoover
Artist: Terrance Graven

Screenshot of Artist, Ariana Page Russell (Source: Artist web site)

I’m always intrigued by artists who find new and creative ways to use the body in art.

Ariana Page Russell has not only used her body in a unique way, she has taken her skin condition and incorporated it into her creative process. Reminiscent of some of my all time favorite female artists Ana Mendieta, Marina Abramovic, and Hannah Wilke (who suffered from Lymphoma, a type of cancer), Russell has taken her own body to create provocative work. She has reinvigorated the concept of body and how it serves as an active canvas.

I would LOVE to see a collaborative work or an exhibition with Ariana Page Russell and Laura Splan! Better yet, I would love to curate a show with them in it. Please click on the link above to view Russell’s site and learn more about her work.

Last weekend, I watched Full Metal Jacket. Being a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick and a sucker for a well done war film, the movie was phenomenal. Naturally, I thought of the various ways war has been depicted in the visual and new media arts. Admittedly, I’m not huge fan of political art; HOWEVER, when it’s done well, it can be powerful and truly engaging. From visual to performative, the artists below have created some of the most memorable pieces.

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During a Feminism & the Arts course, I studied Martha Rosler‘s photo montage works of the Vietnam war.

Artist: Martha Rosler | Title: red stripe kitchen (Part of 'Bringing the War Home' Series) | photo montage | 1967-1972

Currently in draft mode, I’m working on a zer01 piece on new media art that serves as both political and social commentary. One of the artists I’m looking at is Joseph DeLappe and his work, ‘dead-in-Iraq’.

Artist: Joseph DeLappe | Title: dead-in-Iraq | Interactive | 2006 - Ongoing

The conceptual work of Chris Burden possesses an extraordinary and rather dangerous level of self-sacrifice that works extremely well. His work STILL gives me chills. Talk about physicality and gesture – his work is all about that.

Art collectives epitomize the adage, ‘Power in Numbers’, and the Tool Shed Days is a collaborative effort that created the interactive piece, ‘Befriend a Recruiter’. Please watch the video and share your reflections. Again, I am working on a piece and will be discussing them a bit more in detail…In the interim, I would love to hear what you think – positive, negative, or indifferent.

Befriend a Recruiter from artfail on Vimeo.

What happens when the viewer has the ability to control placement of letters to form words with their body and through gesture? How does this form of participation translate to art? How does the interface dictate the way the work is received? Please view Camille Utterback’s work, Text Rain, and share your thoughts.

US = You + Me

Basically, relational aesthetics is when someone with an MFA wants to meet new people but because they spent all that time pursuing an MFA, they don’t know how to talk to people normally and they got really poor social skills. Umm, and they can’t find no other way to meet new people other than forcing them into odd activities at their own poorly attended art openings. Umm, relational aesthetics is also when a successful artist, who is too busy touring the globe going from biennial to biennial and they have no time to create physical objects anymore. So, the famous artist uses the attendees at the exhibition as the artwork, in some way, to explore the social relationships between people.

~ Hennessy Youngman, Artist/Thinker

US was a completely unexpected flurry of fun activity that involved the old fashioned way of social networking – introducing yourself and talking to people. Go figure. Yes, friends, this is art. A combination of theatrics, curiosity, social graces, and diverse individuals made this exhibition successful versus Youngman’s assertion that a famous globe trotting artist has the credibility to execute this type of performance art. Granted, Youngman’s point may be true for some MFA students but certainly not the MFA students I’ve met. US was a fantastic way for people to explore their understanding of roles and constructs within the art world. All I’ve got to say is, umm, that’s brilliant, yo.

Entering the US show, being greeted, and given a 'role' for the exhibition...

Prior to entering the main gallery, participants had to register. I was given the ‘role’ of Reporter along with a clipboard, pen, and questionnaires. The questions were different to allow for a multitude of thoughts and reactions to be documented. Personally, I wanted to be a Theorist but if Ian Colon and WE Space continue to create these opportunities, I may just get my wish! Who knows. Before I forget because I’m sure you’re wondering, the roles included…

* DJ * Artist * Reporter * Theorist * PR * Collaborator * Photographer *

The beginning of the evening and folks gradually working together according to their role
Reporter (Moi) interviewing artist (Jeremiah)

My first interview was with an artist. One of the most memorable answers from our conversation entailed his breadth of knowledge regarding performance art (i.e., Tom Marioni and Tino Sehgal – I was impressed). Obviously he was well aware of relational aesthetics. Art certainly is an intellectual interest but, admittedly, he came for his friend and thought it would be a great experience. Another interview with friend (Aimee Espiritu, real-life artist and educator) who took on the role as PR answered the questions as herself AND her role!! The ways in which her answers differed showcased her real life PR skills as she doled out the art world vernacular combined with personal reflection.

As individuals trickled into the gallery, I conducted a couple of other interviews and the answers ran the gamut from thought provoking (Pascal, another PR person stated, “The art is invisible” – That was quote of the evening for me!!) to engaging to silly (i.e., apparently, there was male artist present who identified best with the basket making community of San Francisco and burns every basket he makes). Yes, these types of answers are inevitable when you ask people to participate in art.

Ready for artwork

During my interview with Aimee, she raised an interesting point about the overall set up. Walking into US, neither of us knew what to expect. Learning that the participants’ experiences would dictate the evening and the community created that evening was a pleasant surprise. Participatory art has always involved a direct engagement with the artist and usually entails the artist explaining some aspect of their work. US relied more on the participants willingness to dive into their role and utilize or act out what they believed their role to be. Overall, it was a great experience and what a nice introduction to relational art for those that have never experienced it. Well done, Mr. Colon and WE Space!! 🙂

Artist (right) working with a Collaborator (left)