On January 1st, Sures Kumar, working as part of a Scientific Hoax project at the Royal College of Art in London, launched a site named Pro-Folio.
Described as a “Speculative academic project aimed at intellectual stimulation and debate regarding the fragility of online identities,” what Pro-Folio did was generate fake artist portfolios, all for false identities, using the work of other artists.
Word quickly spread through the art community and many, in particular those who had had their work used by Pro-Folio, were upset about the project and cited copyright infringement as a primary concern.
On January 7th, Kumar shut down the service but kept open the possibility of relaunching it later after tweaks.
But while the artist reaction to Pro-Folio is understandable, the truth is what Pro-Folio did is not unique nor was it the worst offender. What made Pro-Folio stand out was that it was open about its efforts and listed itself as an art project.
Simply put, far more nefarious people have been doing far worse on the Web for far longer.Continue Reading