"The only resources and commodities from which the subordinate can make their own subcultures are those provided by the system that subordinates them."
—John Fiske, 1989
Unface Book is an experimental publishing project aimed at using Facebook's tools to generate an evolving book. This book unfolds inside an album of 'Photos of You' as a collection of intertwined thoughts exploring a given topic. An unwanted layer of meaning and utility is added to Facebook, so as to suggest deviant and dissonant uses, still supported by Facebook technologies. If design is about control, Unface Book tests accident. If posting usually focuses on the new and the present, Unface Book focuses on atemporal facts and values. If comments serve to share personal opinions inside walls and windows, Unface Book is about what crosses them, beyond design constrictions. If social networks promote transparency and openness, Unface Book explores opacity and inescrutability.
Unface Book has been selected to be exhibited at the 2nd. Istanbul Design Biennial, curated by Zoë Ryan and dedicated to rethink the genre of the manifesto (1 Nov. - 14 Dic. 2014). For the biennial, the ongoing book in Facebook was transformed into a wall of postcards available for visitors to be picked, collected, commented or sent. Visitors were also invited to use the postcards to send their thoughts to the authors.We also explored intersubjective concerns between contributions through a collection of augmented reality “stories” based in the connections made by the authors, and a selection of keywords they picked. As a manifesto, Unface Book askes: what are the new tasks for design as a critical practice, once social networks has become inhabited environments? ¿Might architecture help understand the kind of spatial conditions that social digital environments generate?
What / The topic: Unface Book's contributions explore the meaning of design as part of the poetics (and politics) of being-in-space, beyond distinctions between physical, mental, virtual, social or material spaces. Authors are invited to reflect on design elements such as walls, windows or doors, or qualities such as transparency, confinement, or opening, which are familiar to both architectural and digital interfaces (like Facebook itself). As a result, an interplay of ambivalent open for readers, offering an alternative imaginary of social networks' spatial conditions.
How / The protocol: Every contributor associates an image and a quote from different authors under a tittle that expresses its relation. Every new micro-edition is related to the precedent material, so that an on-going conversation stems from this process. You also can take part by sending us a quote + an image + a title, or just posting them in your own Facebook wall and tagg "Unface Book project". As long as it makes sense, we will regularly upload received contributions to Unfacebook's page 'photos of you' album. Every two years we will publish a printed edition under a collective license.
Why/ Concerns: Unfacebook explores the productive use of social networks as both a space for freedom and as post-industrial commodities. It helps visualize the crossover nature of intellectual property, the limitations of the legal definition of authorship in relation to current techonological capabibilities, the link between the notion of authorship and the individualistic culture that collective hyperconnection masquerades. Ultimately, Unface Book seeks to test the possibility to overflow confinement and individuality through intersubjective constructs.
The ongoing book can be accesed here.