10 years ago, the artist Adam Harvey created a make-up that tricks algorithms and automated facial recognition. Today, this »masking«; circumventing the ban on masking is more relevant than ever. Makeup artist Martayla Poellinitz says, »In this day and age, when a simple snapshot of your face can reveal so much information about you and others you connect with, it's important to protect yourself as best you can.« Poellinitz is black, lives in the USA and is active in »Black Lives Matter«. Protection is essential to her.
Harvey's looks are reminiscent of cyberpunk with make ups that divides the face asymmetrically. By obscuring significant features of the face and focusing elsewhere than the T-axis (eyes, nose, and mouth/chin area), the algorithm cannot collect clean data or correctly identify faces. It's not even necessary to paint over the entire face – a few cleverly placed highlights in unfamiliar places in combination with an optical weakening of parts of the T-axis can be enough to lure the artificial intelligence on the wrong track. On a legal level, there is actually a dispute as to whether such masking techniques are permitted. But how do you want to capture beauty and fashion in paragraphs?
I've been observing the corresponding looks and experiments for a while, there are many pictures and also video tutorials. What I'm missing and what I want to do are great and lively photographs that not only address this make-up in terms of its usefulness, but also in its beauty, which breaks with our viewing habits, and go beyond the simple illustration and the didactic nature of a tutorial.
Thanks so much to cool, very patient an highly creative Anou, Ina, Kaya, Kyra, Martin, Moses and Otto!
Hair Make Up Artist: Eliana Turritto
(Moses is painted by Kaya, Otto is painted by me.)
Location: Orbit / Gängeviertel Hamburg and Ottos kid's room, Lübeck
Funded by VG Bildkunst Neustart Kultur Scholarship 2021 - warmest thanks!