In Russia there's the fantastically creepy and unavoidable app called Findface, where you can upload an image and find that person in other images on open social networks. It was only a matter of time for someone to start using this to make a point. Enter Egor. In an interview at Bird in flight, the artist Egor Tsvetkov explains his photography idea, a project he calls "YOUR FACE IS BIG DATA". Tsvetkov has snapped images of people on the St Petersburg subway and then allowed the app to find their social media presence. It's the digital stalking of people he sees.
The way Egor explains it, advances in technology removes difficulty of identifying the person in the photo, and it gives the opportunity, literally to anyone interested, to find them online. Unaware of this, people continue to stick to the usual behaviour patterns, they don't socialize in public, but they open up their social networks online. This opens up for us to spy on strangers moments of his life through the Internet, and the digital narcissism largely defines the boundaries of private and public in our time. When people don't use privacy settings, we often provoke network stalking. It's a warning.
"In the project YOUR FACE IS BIG DATA I photographed people who were sitting in front of me in the subway, and then looked for them in social networks using open source software . So I learned a lot about a person's life without coming into personal contact, and could be compared with the real image of the internet representation."
There's tons of images at Bird In Flight, and the juxtaposition between a bored commuter staring at their phone vs the smiling images of the same subject on social media is thought provoking. We've shut down in public, and opened up online indeed.