Artist Focus 7: Paolo Cirio

17 September, 2013

Working around the idea of manipulation of information’s power, Paolo Cirio is a media artist known for his controversial and innovative artworks.

The Turin born artist defines his works as sculptural performances of the power of information. He is particularly interested in how specific arrangements of information influence the creation and perception of political, cultural and economic reality, as well as personal emotional states, interpersonal relationships and instinctive human behaviour.


Previous works

Paolo Cirio focused on a lot different projects, and here are some interesting key facts about a few of them:

  • He issued and spread thousands of illicit VISA credit cards, counterfeiting virtual money in order to introduce wealth redistribution through a new monetary policy.
  • He stole one million profiles from Facebook and republished them on a mock dating website. Several mainstream media covered related legal threats.
  • He stole data from Twitter and rated the political affiliation of one million Americans to raise awareness about citizen profiling.

Street Ghosts

Life-sized pictures of people found on Google’s Street View are printed and posted at the same spot where they were taken by the Google’s camera. The posters are printed in colour on thin paper, cut along the outline, and then affixed on the walls of public buildings at the precise spot on the wall where they appear in Google’s Street View.

Street Ghosts reveals the aesthetic, biopolitical, tactical and legal issues. The artwork becomes a performance, re-contextualizing not only ready-made informational material, but also a conflict. Ghostly human bodies appear as casualties of the info-war in the city, a transitory record of collateral damage from the battle between corporations, governments, civilians and algorithms.

‘I [create works of art] by seeing art as a means to grab attention and to inform critically, invent utopias and provoke subversive acts through visual and emotional sensational impact.’ Paolo Cirio


‘Street Ghosts’ is part of the Where are we now? exhibition opening 14th September at The Collection.


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Follow him: @paolocirio


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