SWCTN Data Talk: Face Unlock

Face Unlock

Live stream

Please note: This event took place in March 2021

In this talk are joined by artist and Professor of City Futures at UWE, Teresa Dillon to explore the world of facial recognition and its intersectional histories. This talk is in partnership with the South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN) and is part of a series focussing on data and social and racial inequality, at a time when issues of privacy, ownership and power around data seem ever more pressing.

Technology is never neutral. Embedded within their design and articulation are nested decisions that cultivate certain views and ways of being in the world, over others. This talk focusses on the histories of facial recognition software, drawing on research into early photography, anthropometric techniques and the normalisation of the ‘criminal profile’.

This talk 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 other creators is more important than ever to push back against the politicisation of identity under the gaze and structure of the surveillance state.

Teresa is an artist and researcher. Her work explores situated practices and the lived entanglements of techno-civic systems. She holds the post of Professor of City Futures at the School of Art and Design, University of the West of England and is a founding member of the spatial collective, soft agency.

SWCTN is currently hosting 24 Data research fellows and eight Data Prototype teams who are building new products and services involving data and creative technology. All SWCTN events can be found on our YouTube Channel and via www.swctn.org.uk. This talk will feature BSL interpreters and a captioned version will be available after the event.