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Apple Store customer photos become part of art exhibit

Image: Shutterstock.com

The next time you go to an Apple store, you should resist the urge to fire up Photo Booth and snap a photo of yourself gazing into that MacBook Pro. If you don't, you may find yourself part of an art exhibit like the one created by Irby Pace. According to a Wired article, Pace is a Master of Fine Arts student at the University of North Texas who created an Apple store-inspired gallery exhibit called Unintended Consequences.

The art work includes images Pace retrieved from display devices in a handful of Texas and New York City Apple stores. Pace began his project by visiting Apple stores, locating images left on a device and manually emailing the pictures to himself. Eventually, he figured out a way to dump a large number of them, over 1,000 pictures total, directly to his iPad. After combing through the images, he picked several striking snapshots, enlarged them and compiled them into an exhibit.

While his method may make some people uncomfortable, Pace doesn't think he did anything wrong. He argues, "the people [in the images] consciously left the images behind for anyone to see, or to take." He also did it under the noses of Apple employees who didn't seem to notice what Pace was doing. "None of them seemed interested at all in what I was doing," says Pace, "One employee in New York questioned what I was doing but I told him that I was merely comparing the products."

Pace's actions are similar to those of Kyle McDonald who used spyware to capture images of people looking at Apple computers in NYC retail stores. Unlike McDonald who took images without people's consent, Pace only took the files. The customer snapped the pictures and left them behind for someone like Pace to see and, as he would argue, take. Whether Pace has the right to these abandoned photos is questionable, but that's not stopping him from showing the exhibit. His work, Unintended Consequences, is slated to be shown next week at the Cora Stafford Gallery in Denton, TX.

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