Media Arts and Technology

Sterling Crispin’s Master’s Project Presentation


Date: December 18th, 2014
Time: 2:00pm
Location: 2810 Elings Hall (SYSTEMICS LAB)

Marcos Novak (Chair)
Lisa Jevbratt
JoAnn Kuchera-Morin

DATA-MASKS : Biometric Surveillance Masks Evolving in The Gaze of The Technological Other

The following work is a theoretical and technical investigation into the
form and function of biometric surveillance technology, which is the
mathematical analysis of biological data.

Theoretically, I am concerned with the aggressive overdevelopment of
surveillance technology, how this is changing human identity, and how
humanity interacts with technology. By technology I mean individual
instances of technological devices and networked systems like cameras
and software, but also what I identify as the ’Technological Other’, a
global living super-organism of all machines and software. Technically,
my specific focus has been in reverse engineering facial recognition,
facial detection, and image correlation techniques in order to reveal
how they represent human identity.

This research has resulted in the production of a series of 3D printed
face masks which were algorithmically evolved to satisfy facial
recognition algorithms. It is important to understand the the goal of
creating these masks isn’t to defeat facial recognition or provide
something undetectable, simply covering your face with your hand will do
that. Rather, my goal is to show the machine what it’s looking for, to
hold a mirror up to the all-seeing eye of the digital panopticon we live
in and let it stare back into its own mind.