Friends, I have a new favorite website.
It's called The California Review of Images and Mark Zuckerberg, and its sole mission is to analyze photographs and videos of Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook and probably the next President of these United States.
Tim Hwang, a research fellow at Data & Society, serves as the journal's editor. According to Louise Matsakis over at Motherboard, "the project started when Hwang was talking to a friend, and discovered that they both collected pictures of Zuckerberg. 'We were showing off and trading our Zucks, we were collecting rare Zucks,' Hwang explained. 'He has this weird quality where he ends up in scenes that are just visually strange.'"
However you feel about abbreviating Zuckerberg's name to "Zuck"—more like "Yuck," amiright? Kill me.—this journal is fantastic. In the first volume, which was published on Monday, six academics Facebook stalk the ultimate Facebook stalker, examining the depths of one of the most self-consciously depthless figures in modern history.
Let me count the ways I love thee, The California Review of Images and Mark Zuckerberg.
I love the way you take seriously your jokey premise.
I love the ironic appropriation of Facebook's fonts, colors, and iconography on your website.
I love seeing scholarly work made accessible to mass audiences.
I love that Dilara O'Neil can go on for 1,500 words about a profile pic Zuckerberg used for a little while in 2013.
I love the essay by University of Calgary media studies professor Mél Hogan, who breaks down Zuckerberg's sweaty, awkward, telling performance during an interview at the D8: All Things Digital conference in 2010. She looks at the moment when Zuckerberg's excessive perspiration—"his own body betraying him," as she puts it—forces him to remove his famous custom grey hoodie, which reveals an illuminati-like crest hidden on the inside. She goes onto connect Zuckerberg's meltdown with the coolness required to maintain Facebook's data centers. It's great.
I love also Tamara Shepherd's piece, "Neocolonial Intimacies," wherein a photo of Zuckerberg embracing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi serves as a jumping-off point for her excellent critique of Facebook's attempts to harvest data from the bodies of rural Indians.
But most of all, I love that the man who uses algorithms to scrutinize and monetize our every click and eye movement and affection is finally enduring some serious scrutiny himself.