CSNI and The Photographers’ Gallery
Thu 24 Nov, 2016, 18.30
Curated by artist and educator Nicolas Malevé with Federica Biotti and Zach Blas
What happened to the face? The list is long of what computers do with faces. Applying filters, they improve facial aesthetics. Computers also detect faces in pictures – they identify people, they reconstruct faces based on data, they correlate faces and other data, they predict the evolution of a face.
The face is not a given, it is always under construction. It only exists as a face as long as we have the right apparatus to perceive it and the
right configuration. The face can escape and elude perception (as in the case of prosopagnosia). A long process of reconstruction and archeology may be necessary to make it re-emerge from traces (as in forensics practices). At the same time, the face is under a permanent scrutiny that produces discrimination and stigmatisation.
How to detect a face, to construct one and to evade from one are not necessarily oppositional questions. The face becomes a space where different strategies and forces are active. Panel participants will articulate different responses where the networked image is solicited in various ways. And redefined in the process.
Federica Biotti (Verbania, Italy, 1988) is a PhD student in Cognitive Neuroscience at City, University of London. She obtained a MSc degree in Psychology and Neuroscience at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, before moving to London in 2013. She developed an interest in facial emotion expression in developmental conditions working beside Dr Geoff Bird at the Social Interaction Lab, Birkbeck College. In 2014 she was awarded with a PhD position at City, where she is currently working under the supervision of Dr Richard Cook. Her main research interests include the cognitive mechanisms of face perception, face recognition, and facial emotion categorisation in Developmental Prosopagnosia, a condition that prevents people from recognising familiar faces.
Zach Blas is an artist and writer whose practice engages technics and minoritarian politics. Currently, he is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Blas has exhibited and lectured internationally, recently at Whitechapel Gallery, London; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; e-flux, New York; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; New Museum, New York; Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; and transmediale, Berlin. Residencies include Eyebeam in New York, The Moving Museum Istanbul, The Banff Centre, and the Delfina Foundation in London. Blas’s recent works respond to technological control, biometric governmentality, and network hegemony.
Andrew Murray is Professor of Law at the London School of Economics, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a member of the Executive Board of Creative Commons UK (CCUK). He has been since 2014 a visiting Professor at the Computer Law Institute, VU Amsterdam, and was in Spring 2015 a visiting Professor at the Paris Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po).