Today, I am going to introduce to you one art project that I think pretty impressive. As you can see the title, the name of the art project is <Facial Weaponization Suite>. When I was in Korea, I visited one exhibition called “Vertiginous Data”, and <Facial Weaponization Suite> was one of the exhibition works. <Facial Weaponization Suite> is a mask, an output of the artist’s collection of the faces of local residents and composing them using digital technology. <Face Weaponization Suite> resists the dangerousness that facial recognition technology could infringe on an individual’s rights. Facial recognition technology is a proven technology that can distinguish a person’s sexual orientation and political orientation, and etc even when hairstyles, piercings and tattoos are excluded. Indeed, this technique was used to identify potential criminals at various national events, or to capture activists who resisted the system. Facial recognition technology is operated through the collection of faces of citizens, and is collected through immigration screening, SNS profile photos and CCTV photography, etc. Facial recognition technology has the potential to be used in a variety of businesses or management of states. <Facial Weaponization Suite> does not view this technology as just an improvement in human ability. Rather, <Facial Weaponization Suite> questions what these advances in technology could possibly mean. In other words, <Facial Weaponization Suite> focuses on the fact that these technologies are often used by the establishment who generally do not agree with groups such as activists and sexual minorities, thus making humanity more uniform and passive. <Facial Weaponization Suite> also opposes facial recognition technology locking an individual’s identity in a stereotype, and furthermore, it resists to state or business abusing it to violate individual freedom.
Honestly, I was not shocked by the idea itself that is making the mask to protest. Because using a mask when people are protesting has been existed for a long time. What I was fascinated by was that this whole workshop was proceeded based on the idea of expressing the spirit of resistance to the digital technology that threatens human right through combining artistic thoughts with digital technology. What I mean is, he used technology to resist technology! And also, I was impressed by <Facial Weaponazation Suite> because It made me have questions about things like ‘Is it always good for us to develop things unconditionally?’ or ‘Who is the development for?’. Maybe, we should make a decision that we haven’t made so far, that we don’t make progress. Because it’s more risky than positively potential. Namely, being in a progress does not necessarily mean that we are progressing.
And I came to think of the meaning of art and humanities to put the brakes on the development of human technology in a straight line. Usually individual or groups of artists or activists or scholars don’t have power as much as huge corporations and nations do. However, they always marks their thoughts in the world proving there are various thoughts and considerations in the world. I definitely support arts and humanities interrupting linearly developing human progress. Because the reason why humans are human is not because they are unconditionally evolving, but because they are always asking questions and arguing.