"The project deFacebook employs a number of old/vintage portrait photographs of different sizes from various parts of Rajasthan. Each portrait has been painted with square blocks to pixelate the faces. deFacebook comments on the interaction of internet/digital technology & its effects on indigenous cultures & individual identities. All individual or cultural value systems are defined by various physical factors ranging from ethnography, geography or economy. However, the advent of the digital has relocated everything on a virtual space. I grew up to a family of traditional art dealers in Jaipur, the 400 years old capital of Rajasthan. We had such old pictures hanging on our ancestral house walls. These were images of ancestors, gurus or political heroes. These had different associations for different people. Everyone connected with them at one level or another.
Now, connectivity has an altogether new meaning. Megapixel camera phones and LED screens are the new spaces for any form of interaction. Everything is becoming wallpaper on a digital screen. So my personal shrine is nothing more than a combination of thousands of pixels. The nearest market place is e-bay. The nearest hang out joint is Facebook. On www.facebook.com, it says Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life. The statement represents a huge irony. How can one possibly connect on a flat screen? The answers are online communities, social networking sites, virtual farms, e-books, and virtual identities….
Furthermore, we are fed an endless array of imagery and information everywhere constantly. There are advertisements, agendas, deals, offers, etc. One should ideally feel lost & disillusioned. But we do not. We guilelessly hogged everything instead. In the Virtual, there is no accountability or burdens associated with individual identity. No more Indians or Americans, capitalists or fanatics - Just combinations of a few pixels here and there. Everyone and everything is gradually losing its face- hence, the pixilation of all the portraits in my installation. Virtual is the New Real. Pixel is the new Atom. Five senses are passé, 1920 x 1080 is the new way to be.
Welcome to deFacebook- the new chapter of human evolution."
Photograph and Text by Nandan Ghiya