Emil Kozole
How Much Is Your Face Worth?


Aksioma | Project Space
Komenskega 18, Ljubljana

6 – 22 July 2016
Opening hours: TUE-FRI 12 pm – 6 pm

Exhibition opening: WED, 6 July 2016 at 8 pm



In 2014 Facebook released the most powerful targeting tool ever – Detailed targeting [1], with intelligence that makes even Orwell’s 1984 seems like a fairytale. It segments people by ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, social status, the car they drive, and even the food they eat. How does Facebook know all of this?

The way Facebook files its users is done through algorithms that calculate, for example, your sexual orientation by assessing the interactions you have with other users on Facebook. Your ethnicity instead is guessed by the combination of your given name and last name: if your name is Hans Mueller, you are certainly a white man. Well, at least for Facebook. The neighborhood you live in provides relevant information on your social status. This and much more adds up to increasingly accurate profiles Facebook then sells to advertisers.

If this is not scary enough, Facebook has also developed the most efficient face-recognition software known today: the DeepFace [2] . At the moment the social media in question has over 1.5 billion users that have uploaded more than 250 billion photos and it's actually capable of identifying any person depicted in a given image with 97% accuracy. When considering these two facts it is reasonable to speculate that our face will soon become an important variable in “target advertising”. So the question is: how much is your face worth?

In a dystopian scenario that explores the value of humans to advertisers purely based on data taken from their Facebook profiles, How Much Is Your Face Worth?, a new project by Slovenian designer Emil Kozole, investigates connections between personal data, facial characteristics and online targeting and questions the rise of new marketing tools that are one step ahead of personalized advertising and are becoming embedded into our lives. The exhibition will feature over two thousand profiles distributed by what Facebook knows and speculates about them with the potential value that they represent.

[1] Facebook, “Audience Targeting Options”, https://www.facebook.com/business/help/633474486707199; Rebecca J. Rosen, “Armed With Facebook 'Likes' Alone, Researchers Can Tell Your Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation”, The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/03/armed-with-facebook-likes-alone-researchers-can-tell-your-race-gender-and-sexual-orientation/273963/

[2] Yaniv Taigman et al., “DeepFace: Closing the Gap to Human-Level Performance in Face Verification”, https://research.facebook.com/publications/deepface-closing-the-gap-to-human-level-performance-in-face-verification/; Luke Dormehl, “Facial recognition: is the technology taking away your identity? ”, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/04/facial-recognition-technology-identity-tesco-ethical-issues



Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2016

Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Producer: Marcela Okretič
Executive Producer: Sonja Grdina
Assistant: Katra Petriček
Public Relations: Urša Purkart
Technician: Valter Udovičić

This project was conceived as part of the U30+ initiative.

Supported by: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.

Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana

Emil Kozole

Emil Kozole (1991) is a designer who uses graphic design and typography in the context of socio-political structures. Kozole’s projects are more than just an exploration of visual form. He focuses on the contextual use of graphic design as an investigation into fields such as internet identity, digital surveillance and language. He uses typography and code as a tool for the manifestation of his ideas through online and physical installations or performances. His artworks have been commissioned and exhibited internationally and featured in numerous magazines, such as Wired, Le Monde and Der Spiegel. In 2015 he won the Gran Prix award at the Slovenian Biennale of Visual Communication. Kozole is a recent Central Saint Martins MA Communication Design graduate. More...


Between 6th and 22nd of July Aksioma and Emil Kozole are preparing the project How Much Is Your Face Worth?. During this period in order to implement this project we shall use selected data which is publicly available on the Facebook profile of those persons who “liked” Aksioma’s profile (www.facebook.com/aksioma.org). We shall only use the data (including personal data) that is publicly available on individual Facebook profiles. The results of the project How Much Is Your Face Worth? shall be published in a catalogue, which shall be made available at the event in Aksioma Project Space. If you do not agree with such use of your data and would not like to participate in this project, please send us an email to aksioma.org[AT]gmail[DOT]com by June 27th 2016.