Voyeuroboros, click on “like” and I’ll tell you who you are


Cameras, recognition software, walls, borders … we are growing more and more accustomed to sacrificing humanity and privacy in the name of some sort of promised security, or even for much less. The ideological and practical boundaries between what is really necessary, what is useful and what is dangerous have become increasingly difficult to focus on, in a very complex socio-economic context made up of technologies, habits and social repression, of disorder and continuous changes. Social networks have become, at the same time, a means of communication, opportunities for aggregation and instruments of control. The same could be said of many institutions and services that are part of our everyday lives. When we browse on Facebook and click on “like” we don’t realise what this really entails, the American artist Simon Boas warns us. With Voyeuroboros, Boas has started a process of involuntary exposure. Beginningwith an existing Facebook page that, in order to “[t]o make a safe county for the great people of Santa Cruz”, publishes mug shots of people arrested in the County. Boas has in turn collected all the profile images and the names of each person who interacted with the posts on the page, printing them on a single large sheet. A camera takes a picture of every visitor who takes a copy. None of the subjects involved in this process explicitly consented to the use of their images, which circulate uncontrollably, driven by slogans and seemingly innocuous chain reactions. Benedetta Sabatini