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Meike Schipper


Nobody looks like the average person
Autonome beeldende kunst

During the past half year I have done research in the field of facial recognition technology.
Face recognition technology can be used in lots of different ways. Each utilization brings its own possibilities and responsibilities. Using the technology will have consequences for our concept of man, our beauty standards and our notion of what is ‘normal’. Machines cannot grasp the complexity of what it means to be human, however they influence the way we see ourselves.

With this project I would like to create awareness of the consequences and provide insight into this mostly invisible technology. To do this I have made an infographic that explains how facial recognition works and what you can use it for. The installation makes use of face detection to save the faces of the public passing by. By printing the faces on transparent sheets and layering them, a new ‘average’ face comes to live. Of course by processing the faces this way, a lot of information about the actual faces will be lost. This symbolizes the way our complex human characteristics get lost in the software. Afterwards the average face will then be put through the software again, as if it were one person. However in reality, nobody looks like the average person. It’s a creation of the machine.