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Facebook Mosaic

I had quite a few “grand ideas” for this project. The basic concept I wanted to work around was the concept of our “self” being something that we download from others (from movies, our peers, television, novels, etc) and upload in our interactions with others as we see fit. After a lot of technical difficulties (let’s just say that for me, technology limits my creative abilities), I finally found a program that could help me do this project. I decided to look at my Facebook profile and explore what the things I say in my “Info” section could say to someone about me. After all, to some people, my Facebook profile is the only version of myself that they are familiar with.

So I took a screenshot of my Facebook profile as is.

Then, I took my current Profile Picture, and used a program called MacOSaiX to make a mosaic out of the key words I have in my profile (such as my networks, favorite TV shows, movies, birthdate, etc). The application searched Flickr using these keywords and chose the top photos to insert into the mosaic. This was the result:

I chose to use my eye as the focus of the mosaic because I am interested in the relationship between what I see and view, and what I construct as my “self”. A mosaic is literally an image that is made up of many other parts, and through this course I have come to see that what we consider our natural self is a single representation of how we have chosen to process and react to the things we see around us every day. I have been struggling with the idea of whether this is a utopic or dystopic vision, and I made several alternate versions where the underlying tone of the mosaic was different, so as to make it feel dystopic or utopic. The final image I selected, however, does not feel utopic nor dystopic to me; instead, all I can see is chaos that does come together to form one single image.

(as a bonus, I made a video of one of the first mosaics I made using the eye image and by searching “sexy women” on Flickr. I took my project in a different direction after this, but I this video is interesting not only in that it shows what a search engine found to be sexy women, but also how this mosaic program works, for those who are interested!)

3 Responses
  1. April 25, 2009

    I like this idea of upload and downloading ourselves. I wonder if the mosaic you created represents that at all. It certainly represents a fractured self, which I find interesting, especially as you chose to use images not of you, but of the movies, music, celebrities, etc. that somehow represent yourself to the world. The video, which I know you consider kind of extra, shows some movement between the created mosaic and the images that make it up, which seems to me to get at the upload/download concept more than the static mosaic. Despite your suggesting this concept and your recognition that there is no static self, the mosaic, while made up of lots of pieces, is still static. So I wonder if there’s still a way in which we want a whole self or a static self. It might have been interesting to see all those other versions shifting in and out of each other.

  2. Aline permalink
    April 25, 2009

    I like your idea. I feel like goes perfectly with the movie Metropolis. It really reminded me of that and other things we’ve done this semester. I feel like it combined Metropolis, virtual spaces, and the self. It was very creative and insightful! 🙂

  3. Solomon Lutze permalink
    April 26, 2009

    I like what you’ve said about representations. The thing I’ve really been feeling this semester in several classes is that you can never actually experience anything “as it is;” the experience is of that object’s representation, and it is always represented and never represented with 100% accuracy.

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