Face is a photo series wherein I invite subjects to wear temporary tattoos that reference personally identifiable information about them “found” online. I hope that the gesture of juxtaposing a tattoo with online information expresses the ominous undertone of the permanence of Internet data.
Egyp is an actor. IMDB.com automatically, and without his consent, aggregates every credit he receives for his acting roles along with any press or publicly accessible social media activity that mentions his name. The frequency and calibre of the mentions and credits are then measured against every other name in IMDB’s database to arrive at a “StarMeter” rank. The number is published for paying subscribers to IMDB customers.
David’s personal information, his age, the names of his family members, his previous addresses, and his employment record, have all been aggregated by so called “people finder” sites. These services cull credit histories, and arrest and birth records in order to sell the compiled results as “reports” to the public. There are varying legal tolerances for this practice internationally, but in the US, for the time being, it is perfectly legal. Should the law ever change, however, it would be unrealistic to expect that the information already published could ever be erased.
Chris is also an actor. On his chest is tattooed his IMDB StarMeter Ranking from the beginning of his first credited role to the day this photo was taken (December 11, 2014). An actor’s StarMeter ranking changes weekly, but his history remains redundantly stored on IMDB’s servers. Actors engage in very public professions, nevertheless a low rank just like the publication of their real age, might keep them from being cast in roles they would be otherwise perfect for.