Identity and Face Recognition (2020)

Eyes, nose, mouth: the main features of our faces are here re-modelled thanks to a machine-learning tool. It's the algorithm that decides, based on the environment surrounding the selection, what to substitute the characters for.

Treated like a natural landscape, the face is torn and novelty is created. In this case it is a computer that blindly, or better, unaware takes possession of our Identity through the seizure of our familiar shapes and forms. But we know that machines are just tools, in this case of control, in the hands of us human beings.

Shaping novelty onto human faces has indeed this meaning. We live in a society that keeps on controlling and spying on its own members using technologies like advanced face recognition, and today more than ever we human beings ought to ask ourselves about our Identity, its meaning, its destruction, its theft. 

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Not only has society become so paranoid that our Identity is constantly stolen, sent, seen and analysed by others through cameras, but also we have undergone a transformation into mere objects, or even numbers for something bigger than just video-surveillance.

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We have therefore become items, things, numbers that are part of big-data collections. Surveillance has turned into a part of our daily life, and we accepted it. This project is the visual representation not only of a nightmare far away in the future, but rather of the advance of our everyday metamorphosis into what is progressively moving away from the features of a personal human Identity.

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Moreover, in recent years, it was demonstrated that the algorithm of face recognition works efficiently only when applied on caucasian male and caucasian women's faces. There exists a high percentage of error when the A.I. tool has to check the features of men of colour, and especially women of colour. This leads to false identifications for example in states like U.S.A. which heavily relies on this instrument for police identification purposes.

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We now know for sure that cameras, apps on our smartphones and other devices, governments, companies and so on have the possibility of constantly spy on us. So the question is: what will we do? Continue selling our Identity unaware of the process, the costs, and the consequences? Or at least be aware that we have a choice?