", Paolo Cirio’s solo show for Empreintes Numériques at Centre Culturel Bellegard, Toulouse, France, opened on April 8th 2015.
Paolo Cirio’s solo features some of the artist’s best works on the new social conditions brought by the global networks with high concepts and humor.
With the exhibition “After Transparency
” the artist questions issues such as privacy, anonymity and accountability and how they can be embodied into sophisticated works of art. Transparency is central in the contemporary society and it needs to be comprehended in all its complexity. In the show “After Transparenc
y” Paolo Cirio juxtaposes differents dimensions of transparency, through the artworks “Loophole for All”, “Face to Facebook”, “Street Ghosts” and the recent “Global Direct.”
As an international artist, hacker, and activist, Paolo Cirio’s artworks don’t just comment reality abstractly; instead they often intervene directly into the socio-economic dynamics to produce thoughts for change through provocations and original concepts. Cirio investigates potentials and limitations of information systems to explore how they impact social structures, global economy, legal orders, and control of knowledge.
“Loophole for All”
Transparency and anonymity in the global economy are addressed with this artwork, which unveiled over 200,000 Caymans Islands companies. The website Loophole4All.com promoted the sale of real identities of anonymous Cayman companies at low cost to democratize the privileges of offshore businesses by forging Certificates of Incorporation documents for each company, all issued with the artist's real name and signature. This performance generated international media attention, engaged an active audience, and drew outrage from Cayman Islands authorities, international accounting firms, PayPal, and the real owners of the companies.
To navigate the complexity of a global society organized through global networks the artist outlined new creative models of governance driven by open data, e-voting and reputation systems. For a utopian future, the artist designed social systems for a global and participatory democracy, where citizens share social responsibility and accountability. To illuminate this conceptual work, the artist drew a series of fifteen organograms informed by research that the artist conducted into the social science.
“Face to Facebook”
This work addresses the abuse of personal privacy by internet companies by challenging Facebook directly. The project consists of one million stolen Facebook profiles that have been filtered with face-recognition software. A portion of them (250,000) were posted on a custom-made dating website and sorted by their facial expression characteristics. The work was largely featured in the global media; and it generated eleven lawsuits threats, five death threats, and several letters from Facebook’s lawyers.
Perception of public, private and personal information is addressed with this street art project made with life-sized pictures of people found on Google's Street View. The blurred pictures of these random people are then printed and posted without authorization at the same spot where the photos were taken by Google. Ultimately, the Street Ghosts posters present casualties of the info-war in the city and serve as a transitory record of collateral damage from the battle between corporations, governments, civilians and algorithms. All of these records draw attention to and bring into question the ownership and the use of public and private data.