, Paolo Cirio’s solo show for Empreintes Numériques at Centre Culturel Bellegard, Toulouse, France, on April 8th 2015.
Paolo Cirio’s solo show features some of the artist’s best works on the 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 works of art. Transparency is central in contemporary society and it needs to be comprehended in all its complexity. Cirio juxtaposes different 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 on reality abstractly; instead, they often intervene directly into 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 field of social science.
“Face to Facebook”
This work addresses the abuse of personal privacy by internet companies through a direct challenge to Facebook. 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 use of public and private data.