For What It's Worth

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For What It's Worth - find it here.

Artist Statement

For this project, I wanted to focus on the contradictions that are I find in the use of Facebook. First, there seems to be a tension in the relation between the public and the private -- the feeling of security in a space that is fundamentally unsecure, the freedom of expression that is felt within the confines of catergorization that Facebook offers. And through this catergorizaiton, there is also a normalizing element that occurs. And we all too happy to oblige to these confines. But not only are we aligning ourselves with these norms, but it would also seem that we are  all too willing to market ourselves in the context of Facebook. From status updates, to wall posts, to photos tagged, the use of facebook is a constant, repetitive act of performing one's identity. However, this formation is always wrought with tension and difference. For as much as this identity is performed, Facebook also begins to formulate individuals as both subjects and objects, giving users the feelings of identity and subjectivity through a means of objectificaiton.

But more importantly, the focus on my project is the concern that Facebook as a social networking site  is run on advertisement revenue. It is not only this revenue that is of concern to this project, but these ads functioning as both visible and invisible. Visible in that they are ever present, that they often are an eye sore, among other things. Invisible in the manner in which power function. Advertisements and Marketing are the determinants for facebook's existence, including our own page's existence, yet we are never really aware of always conscious of this relation.

Facebook them becomes an inherent means to accumulate capital. This would suggest that in the end, we are commodities, or rather, subjects that are veiled with a feeling of security and false sense of privacy in a space that is highly mediated and public and one that markets our interests toward the purchase of goods. We generate money for Facebook through our use of the site as long as users keep clicking on advertisements.

I wanted to use only the information that I've provided on my Facebook profile page, making note of the catergories that the program gives you. We form but are also formed by the profile page(s).

So how much does one user as both a commodity and consumer of commodities matter?

Through a Facebook application called Viral Loop, one can see, according to the application, how much you are worth to Facebook. This worth is based on numerous factors including your own level of activity as well as the number and level activity of your friends.

The Value of my account according to Facebook.

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