In a small, light filled room at the back of Centre des arts actuels Skol, summer residents Charles-Antoine Blais Métivier and Serge-Olivier Rondeau are exploring the ever expanding mass of photographs on Facebook, where over 300 million new photos are posted everyday. For the 8 week duration of their research project, After Faceb00k, they have access to the centre’s space, resources and networks.
Like documentary photographers of the past, Charles-Antoine and Serge-Olivier are searching for images, but only within the strange, virtual landscape of Facebook photos, where people share the most intimate and banal moments freely. As the pair categorizes and takes stock of their findings, they also think through the many implications of this giant, shifting archive. What kind of platform is Facebook, anyway? Although it is privately owned, and all uploaded images can be used by the corporation, we treat it as though it was our own, public commons.
Through their sifting, they are discovering surprising amounts of repetition in the content of photos posted. Could it be that we are all just terrible, unoriginal photographers? If Facebook photos were one day looked at as an archive of how we see ourselves, what would they say about us as a culture?
While they aren’t coming up with any definite answers or conclusions, Charles-Antoine and Serge-Olivier’s investigation raises important questions about a topic whose insidious significance grows greater everyday.
Centre des arts actuels Skol, space 314
Charles-Antoine Blais Métivier and Serge-Olivier Rondeau
June 4-August 10, 2012