Last week Lea Laura Michelsen PhD fellow, Department of Aesthetics and Culture at Aarhus University delivered a talk on her PHD Project: The Art of Disappearing on masked resistance to digital biometrics. This focussed on two of Zach Blas’s works; Face Cages (2013-2016) and Facial Weaponisation Suite (2011-2014).
These works probe into the pseudo-scientific quantification of the individual in modern biometric processes. They play with the dichotomous relations between masking and revealing, homogenising and uniqueness, dominating and resisting. Blas plays with these relations, makes them dance. Shifting their positions, making one appear the other.
He invites groups to explore these relations with him.
“Biometric systems are technologies that can scan a subject’s physiological, chemical or behavioral characteristics in order to verify or authenticate their identity.” — Joseph Pugliese, Biometrics: Bodies, Technologies, Biopolitics, 2
Biometrics refers to the quantification of the human body.
A science with foundations in the Enlightenment. A close relation to physiognomy, biometrics has racist lineage. Biometrics has had a resurgence and strengthening of late with the development in real time facial scanning technology.
a covering for all or part of the face, worn as a disguise, or to amuse or frighten others.
cover (the face) with a mask.
conceal (something) from view.