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Beyond Identity

2017, Interactive Installation, Facial Recognition, Scenario Thinking

“Good Morning.
Checking today’s agenda.
Today you will meet Jan, Henriette, Jesse, Jon and you will encounter two face recognition algorithms.
Calculating instructions.
Here is my suggestion: Apply the cheek pieces. Your hair style and eye color fits already, however, you should make one more change.
Now take today’s nose.
You are ready to go.”

Have you ever been looked at disdainful? Which new habits of selfcare and styling will we develope facing an environment populated with facial recognition and and social scoring devices? We have always judged each other superficially based on visual impressions. Already at the beginning of the 19th century tried Adolphe Quetelet to quantify the human ascribing certain characteristics developing the field of criminology.

Both as a defensive but also as a proactive and self assuring measure we pick certain clothes, hairstyles, make up, scents and gestures when going on a date, meet an accountant for a mortage negotiation or a human resource representative for a application interview. Now these situations of judgement have been supplemented with algorithmic decision making based on correlative research often drawing their final judgement on visual databases of people's faces. Your sexual orientation, your credit worthiness, your political view, your IQ and many more aspects can be determined by your facial apperaance.

Algorithmic bias and ethical problems led multiple activists to develope defensive systems to disguise someones face unrecognisable. However, all measuerments have been overcome by advancing technology. Facing a world accepting of facial recognition we need to ask the question of how we will proactively shape our styling habits developed for situations of encountering other humans to situations of encountering algorithms. Beyond Identity explores this situation proposing a advisory smart mirror serving as consultant and reviser to adapt your face in the morning. Knowing your day's agenda it suggests you styling cues favouring desired attributes as well as being able to print seemlessly sculpted masks. Beyond Identity supports designing your body.

Testrun the smart-mirror on yourself here.