SKOOL 2012 : After Facebook

Summer Research Residency

June 4 – August 10, 2012

Project Description

The advent of digital photography, proliferating multifunction devices, and the dynamics of Web 2.0—user-generated content, social networks—has enabled a genuine democratization of photography. After Facebook attempts to provide an update on the act of taking pictures. In doing so, it draws inspiration from the prior tradition, in particular anthropological and sociological approaches evinced in the documentary series of such photographers as Walker Evans, Ed Ruscha, Dorothea Lange, or August Sander. These emblematic figures defined and paved the way for current documentary practices. In the footsteps of photographers who once physically moved around to build their body of work, this project prompts us to consider the virtual space as a second public sphere, where one can stroll and capture images while preserving the traditional photographer’s artistic and critical eye. This point of view is all the more relevant in Quebec, where all street photography is cast in the legal framework of publicity rights set in a landmark decision in 1998.

Image collecting within the project also leads us to consider such issues as the appropriation for documentary purposes of user-generated photographic material on social networks, and the preservation and classification of collected data. And one must keep in mind that Facebook content, mankind’s greatest image archive, is both uncatalogued and subject to daily destruction by its users. The outcome of this research will be presented at Skol in August.

Internet Archaeologists Find Ruins Of ‘Friendster’ Civilization

After Facebook Key

After Facebook Key