Obscurity, the right to blur


Paolo Cirio has researched different social systems in his artistic activity, always finding tactical methods to conceptually destabilize these through the use of contextualized and strategic technologies. In Obscurity (after Overexposed) he once more addresses a facial recognition system, but this time to let users hide rather than inflate their presence. The artist is targeting blackmailing websites. These ask people who have a “mug-shot” history (identified through a double photograph taken by the police) to remove it from their website for a fee, claiming that business firms often check them. Cirio cloned websites hosting over fifteen million mug-shots of people arrested in the U.S., blurred them, shuffled their data, claiming something similar to the European “right to be forgotten,” and inviting people to express their opinion on keeping/removing mug-shots from those websites. Cirio believes in “internet social art practices”, and here he literally embodies another controversial one at a remarkable scale.


Paolo cirio – Obscurity