In a world where the personal information of celebrities and former heads of movies studios can forcefully be taken and shared with the public, why is this regular guy from Bushwick selling his Facebook information to the highest bidder? First posted on Yahoo! Tech, Bushwick conceptual artist Nick Hugh Schmidt has put his Facebook username and password on ebay, where the person who offers the most capital gets his information. To do what exactly? Whatever they want: NSFW pictures, homophobic/racist status updates, it’s all up to the person. As of this writing, the project titled My FB Password has 7 bids, with the highest bid so far being all of $9.50, a little more than your average beer during happy hour.
This isn’t the first time Schmidt has done something like this. “Unlock and Explore” was an interactive exhibit where Schmidt let anyone take his cell phone and scan his photos, contacts, e-mails etc. During the exhibit, Schmidt would leave his phone at the gallery, not having it with him for days. On May 15, Schmidt will forfeit his email and password to a complete stranger, handing it over via USPS. We reached out to Nick and asked him why in the world would he do something like this. He told us:
“If you read enough on surveillance you know that everything is practically transparent anyway, so why not beat them to the punch, it’s pointless to try to hide, so i [sic] would rather reverse the trend, subvert my surveillance by exposing myself before they can.”
So is he worried at all about what the winner will do with his online identity? “I’m more than not worried, I’m excited to see what they will do with it!” The most exciting aspect of this project to Schmidt is the idea of “having the final purchaser actually wrest the piece from the losers.” It is, in fact, a bidding war for what he calls his “digital soul”; Schmidt has given people the opportunity to take something extremely personal to him, so personal that he feels it “will either confirm our greatest fears or uphold our belief in the general benevolence of people.”
Pretty deep. Now if you excuse us, we’ve gotta look at our checking account to see how high we can bid for this.