This Lunchtime Talk will be broadcast live on Watershed's YouTube channel.

Our technologies are never neutral.

Embedded within their design and articulation are nested decisions that propagate certain views and ways of being in the world, over others. This talk focuses on the histories of facial recognition software, drawing on research into early photography, anthropometric techniques and the normalisation of the ‘criminal profile’.

The presentation, weaves a story from racial describing and urban population control in the late 1800s, to the birth of eugenics, to modern day, facial profiling data sets and their associated bias. Against this backdrop, the role of the artist and others in subverting these given vectors will be highlighted as part of a continual push against the politicisation of identity under the structure and gaze of the surveillance state.

In 2020 The South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN) launched their Data Fellowship as part of a year of thinking about Data. Now with the prototype strand in full swing the team are looking towards their Data Showcase on 26 March, an online day of fun and adventure exploring data, new forms of investment and inclusive futures. 

To give you a taster of what is in store for the Showcase SWCTN have been hosting a series of talks, focusing on data & social and racial inequality, at a time when issues of privacy, ownership and power around data seem ever more pressing.

Join us on Fri 5th March, 13:00-14:00 for the talk and to take part in the discussion afterwards.

Watch live on YouTube