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Zach Blas, Facial Weaponization Suite, 2011 - ongoing.

Facial Weaponization Suite (2011 - ongoing)

Facial recognition software uses biometric data to identify specific individuals from an image, read facial expressions and in some cases even assign an emotion to the person captured. Blas’ Facial Weaponization Suite stands as a protest against this technology, highlighting the inherent prejudices it perpetuates, and providing a sanctuary away from digital eyes.

He has produced a collection of masks, modeled using the facial data of participants in community workshops, which when worn, prevent detection by facial recognition technologies. These masks are then used for public interventions, protest, and performances.

The Fag Face Mask, is generated from the biometric facial data of a number of queer men’s faces, and stands as a response to scientific studies in which rapid facial recognition techniques can determine sexual orientation. The other two masks -one black, the other blue- deal with issues of racism and sexism respectively, again using the prejudices inherent in biometric recognition tools as a starting point.

With thanks to Scott Kepford, The Great Nordic Sword Fights, Danilo Gasques Rodrigues, and Fernando Nos (3D Modeling) and Machine Histories (Fabrication).