There are only a few things, which we can consider so exclusively our own as our faces. One of the most basic elements of our identity is our most intimate, yet most public part. We barely ever cover this surface of our body, not even in public space, and in some countries, it is considered to be a crime to cover one’s face in particular spaces. It seems it is our duty, to always be identifiable.
But how far does this duty of identification extends, and where does the monitoring of people change into illegal and authoritarian surveillance?
In David Biro’s latest series, Do You Accept Cookies? he examines the mechanism of face-recognition systems. A pertinent endeavour at a time that the face is beginning to take on the role of the fingerprint, in being our unique identification signifier.
More and more people are using phones that can be unlocked by face scanning, and CCTV monitoring systems are increasingly using face detection for crime prevention and for law enforcement purposes.
Biro created face-imitating installations, in order to experiment on what the human eye recognises as a face, and what appears to be a face according to the algorithm of mobile cameras. Hi conclusion is that the time has come for us all to start dealing with our personal data much more carefully. Although we can decide to delete our profile from social media platforms, and not to accept cookies on websites, we cannot just simply log out from the face recognition system of public spaces.
Biro seeks the blind spots of the technology of face recognition and to elude the system using various hacks while also addressing the ethical issue of observation and being the one who is observed.
For Biro this is unquestionably one of the most important dilemmas of our time.