Code & Design
The project was made in Processing. The personnal data of the user must be downloaded manually on Facebook in the first place, in the form of a big folder with lots of .json files. Once imported in the script, some particular datas are extracted from the user's archive like the total number of friends, the average time of day of connection, the speed of profile pictures change, etc. Those values are then used as variables to procedurally and continiusly generates a 3D model of a dagger. So users with very different uses of Facebook will have very different dagger shapes equivalent.
The 3D model can be directly exported from the script as an .obj file and then 3D printed.
This allow a re-materialization of our Facebook datas as a physical objects. Once our dagger is 3D printed, our personnal datas becomes something we can hold in our hands, that as a place and utility in the physical world. This re-materialization process echos the invisible and vaporous nature of digital datas.
By allowing the users to create a symbolic weapon out of their own extorted datas, it is a political reappropriation. Affirming that datas from social networks are something that belongs to us, the users.
The dagger object is not only a weapon but also a tool, a personnal jewel or a sacred ritual artefact. This symbols extends on how we define ourself through online medias, something more intimate that act as a reflection of our daily use of internet platforms, as modern rituals.
Six daggers were created based on the Facebook profiles of some of my friends and myself, and then 3D printed. The daggers where printed at the iMAL fablab.
The installation consists of those six daggers and 3 infographics posters depicting how the facebook parameters are linked to the geometrical features of the daggers. This display push to a direct comparison of the shown daggers, leading to playful abstraction games between of shapes and concepts.
I definitively want to make this script accessible and usable to the public, as well as open-source, but this was coded in a very DIY punk way... and there are still some bugs to fix. (the code don't run on lots of platforms, and the 3D model often need manual cleaning/corrections in order to be 3D printed)
As it is a project from the past, I have to find the time and motivation to rewrite it in a more shareable way and to construct a confortable interface. As soon as I do, I'll put everything on some repositories.