Be led into the obscure

Facebook Profile Pic Hacks: The artist speaks…

Alexandre Oudin Facebook Profile Hack

Alexandre Oudin Facebook Profile Hack

Alexandre Oudin, the French artist identified by the media as the one who started the Facebook profile hacks, does not seem to be convinced that Facebook or social media is going to change the way photography or art is created.

LexicalPixies contacted Oudin through Facebook to get his take on the new profile page hacks on the social networking site after Mashable identified him as the man behind the craze.

The artist’s responses were thoroughly surprising as they stood apart from the views expressed by other Facebook users who were featured in the news for their creative uses of the new profile page, which incorporated five additional pictures besides the traditional profile picture.

In our previous post published on Dec 26, titled ‘Facebook Profile Hacks: Social Media Art is here…‘, we quoted two Facebook users – Luke Kingma and Prashish Rajbhandari – optimistic of the new trend on the site.

While Luke said that the new Facebook fad reflected an evolution from the way we used to photograph ourselves in the past, Prashish hoped that the creativity on sites such as Facebook would be appreciated.

What Luke said:

“We focus a lot less on how ‘good’ we look and a lot more on what we can do with our surroundings. I think” we’ve come a long way from the “camera and the bathroom mirror shots from the Myspace days. I hope this is the start of a string of much more creative ways to express oneself on social media! I really think it is, and I think this a great start.”

What Prashish said:

“As you can see many creative facebook pages have been appearing in the last few days. Even the creator of the ‘row of five photos’ in facebook would have been amazed of the creative flow of art or photography by facebook users. Its very early to say if social media is affecting photography or art but yes, we can see the imagination and creativity of people in such a small platform. I hope to see one day ‘Amazing collection of facebook profile pages’.”

Both Luke and Prashish were among hundreds of those who chose to “experiment” with the new profile page after seeing what others had done. And according to Mashable, the whole wave of experimentation began with Oudin. Interestingly, the artist was not as plausive about interweaving photography/art with social media trends.

“I don’t think it (social media) has a great impact on fine arts as we know them, it’s just a new media that artists will probably have to appropriate in order to produce a new kind of work. And as a matter of fact, they already do which is not my case,” said the artist, who experimented with the row of five photos “just out of boredom”.

The only change, he observed, that Facebook has had on the process of photography is the way we display it.

“I don’t think Facebook really changes the way we take pictures, or what we want to photograph, but it changes the way we show them, the way they are displayed for everyone, all the time, everywhere… But I don’t consider Facebook as the best place or platform to show photography.”

Pixies say:

Oudin’s responses, we realised, balanced out that the views expressed on the first post. But the fact that the creativity displayed on the use of the row of five photos is remarkable can not be ruled out.

On one line, the new Facebook profile hacks could be seen on the lines of Cubism, where images or subjects were fragmented. Despite the fact that the cubist pieces of art were seen as chaotic, there was an underlying stability. Faces and people were not the only subjects, everyday objects also intrigued the 20th century avant-garde artists, who preceded the Surrealists. The subject matter is broken up, analyzed, and reassembled in an abstracted form.

Pablo Picasso, along with Georges Braque, is considered the pioneer of the movement. Picasso’s famous anti-war painting, bombing of Guernica is one among the master-pieces – considered peculiar symbol of peace.

Picasso's Bombing of Gernica

Picasso's Bombing of Gernica (Photo Courtesy:Wikimedia Commons)

Picasso said, “Art is the lie that tells the truth.”

Art has always been the reaction of and/or interpretation to the external world. The hacks represented unison in fragments, which, in turn, represented the world around us today. The need to reach out with something to say or just a humble need to express. If it is through a Facebook profile page, why not? It is increasingly becoming a bigger part of our lives, even dethroning our need to Google – as new statistics show.

This makes Oudin a true artist.  Why? Just a little thought, figure it out with what has been argued above and what has been left to ponder with material below. Leaving you with two interesting takes on pessimism and art:

I am an anarchist in politics and an impressionist in art as well as a symbolist in literature. Not that I understand what these terms mean, but I take them to be all merely synonyms of pessimist.
(Henry Brooks Adams)

pessimism, n. A philosophy forced upon the convictions of the observer by the disheartening prevalence of the optimist with his scarecrow hope and his unsightly smile.
(Ambrose Bierce’s satirical lexicon, The Devil’s Dictionary)


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