Thursday, April 09, 2009

"Me" and the Miracle 5

In which your humble author tracks down his Facebook impersonator, thinks “deep” thoughts, and then reviews the impersonator’s show

A New England Journal of Aesthetic Research investigative report:
The e-mail from "Craig Cook" arrived on March 2. It directed me to a Facebook page pretending to be Greg Cook's, and a YouTube video. I was busy, so I watched only the beginning of the latter. [Note the screenshot above depicts the Webpage after its creator later added the word "fake."]

Someone had pasted some whacked-out photos of me onto an '80s Max Headroom video. A robot voice said it was responding to an essay I'd posted on my blog, the New England Journal of Aesthetic Research, and on the on-line arts journal Big Red & Shiny calling for local artists to have more do-it-yourself moxie. I'd suggested organizing shows in apartments, garages, on-line, in rented trucks parked on Harrison Avenue. "Someone should hack the ICA's Mediatheque computers — since the ICA isn't using them — and fill them with crazy digital art," I wrote.

The video focused on the part about the ICA. "I tried to hack the ICA Mediatheque lab computers but failed," the robot voice said before I shut it off and returned to more pressing matters.

I didn't think much about it until a friend living abroad e-mailed asking what was up with the video. Then a co-worker complimented me on it. A local gallerist said she'd been contacted to be my Facebook friend; she'd replied yes, the video had arrived, and now it refused to be deleted from her computer.

"Craig" started to seem creepy. As a critic, I'm fair game for satire and complaints. What bothered me was the identity-theft bit. And how Fake Greg Cook was messing with my personal and professional relationships. It didn't feel funny; it felt something like stalking. And I thought I knew who "Craig" was.
All is revealed in the stunning conclusion here.

Pictured: a couple versions of the Fake Greg Cook Facebook page – after the impostor changed the name to Gary Frye, and later after the impostor added the “fake” label to “clarify” things.


Anonymous Thomas Garvey said...

I'd say a few well-placed negative reviews should end all this "playfulness," and I'd encourage you to hand them out. I saw your alter ego on Facebook, too, but figured it couldn't be you because it was just so - well, stupid.

April 11, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

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