Project

No Show: How Social Networks Create Events That Will Never Happen

American photographer Eric Pickersgill spent several months visiting fake events announced on Facebook. In his series, he shows how social networks manipulate trusting people.
Eric Pickersgill Age 30

Born in Florida, spent his adolescent years in North Carolina. Received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Fine Art Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2011. Co-founder of The Gallery 145 and Mall Pretzel.

“In May of 2016, I noticed that a few friends marked themselves as going to an event created on Facebook that didn’t seem real. The public event page was titled “Fred Durst LIVE at Rose’s Department Store” and was set in the rural North Carolina town of Morganton. Local news began covering the event as the public could not tell if the 90’s rap rock band would actually play the chain discount store.

I decided to attend the event, meeting the man who created it and photographing the individuals who showed up. I spent the following several months photographing from Atlanta, GA to Chicago, IL at as many fake Facebook events as I could,” Eric says in his introduction to the project.

The public could not tell if the 90’s rap rock band would actually play the chain discount store.
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“Fred Durst LIVE at Rose’s Department Store”, May 19, 2016
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Jeremy on Mustang. “Fred Durst LIVE at Rose’s Department Store”, May 19, 2016
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“Fred Durst LIVE at Rose’s Department Store”, May 19, 2016
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Papa Johns. “Fred Durst LIVE at Rose’s Department Store”, May 19, 2016
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John. “TacoFest16 ft Criss Angel & Martin Shkreli & Papa Roach & Drowning Pool & Sasha Grey & HIM”, July 10, 2016. Nashville, Tennessee
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“Sugar Ray at Demeter's Pizza-n-Grill”, July 12, 2016. Woodruff, South Carolina
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Resident of Morganton, NC who came to Roses to see if Fred Durst would show up. “Fred Durst LIVE at Rose’s Department Store”, May 19, 2016

“The photographs document this social media phenomenon while giving an example to the ways in which the public is receiving its information. This project points to the larger issue of one way social media is changing social opinion, actions, trust, and modes of deception,” he explains.

When asked about the conceptuality behind these pictures, Eric replies: “I wanted to create this series to show a specific example of how manipulative social media is. Because our online experience is curated based off of previous actions, the notion of credibility seems to be less important than the fulfilling onslaught of self affirming content that we see everyday.”

I wanted to create this series to show a specific example of how manipulative social media is.
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“Nickelback LIVE at Dollar Tree”, June 18, 2016. Salisbury, North Carolina
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Sears Outlet Presents Lifehouse (LIVE!) with The Calling & An Opening Monologue by Nicolas Cage, July 14, 2016, Hendersonville, Tennessee
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Alliah, “Drake LIVE at Hooters on Peachtree”, July 16, 2016. Atlanta, Georgia
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Sears Outlet Presents Lifehouse (LIVE!) with The Calling & An Opening Monologue by Nicolas Cage, July 14, 2016, Hendersonville, Tennessee
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Angie, “Morrissey live at Vienna Beef's 122nd Anniversary”, August 18, 2016. Chicago, Illinois

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