facial weaponization suite




CV Dazzle


“First meticulously censused, and then censored…. The more the word safe is repeated, the more our fears increase.” – Emily Abendroth

“Liquid surveillance is… an orientation, a way of situating surveillance developments in the fluid and unsettling modernity of today…. Surveillance spreads in hitherto unimaginable ways, responding to and reproducing liquidity. Without a fixed container… surveillance spills out all over.” – David Lyon, Liquid Surveillance


What are the possibilities for interacting with and/or refusing interaction with surveillance?



-My project will be an active exploration of surveillance, with particular focus on the advent and advantageous use of facial recognition software. What are our roles in this narrative becoming? Are we co-conspirators, assisting and promoting the surveillance of one another (even in the simple, yet dogmatically tended to, act of tagging our friends in a Facebook image)? Are we merely compliant data, passively permitting the aggressive aggregation of each opportunity of information? Are we/will we be a denial to this seamless system, this situated stockpile that recedes into evermore untraceability as we become irrevocably more findable, see-able, readable?

What do we do when visibility itself becomes compliance?

-With my work, I intend to trouble the increasingly asymmetrical transparency between the surveillers and the surveilled. The resulting material will be a series of wearables that deny facial recognition software accurate readings of the face. As technologies in surveillance progress, it becomes increasingly evident that the body is a contested site where negotiations with power are played out. With this understanding, how can we adapt our interface (our very bodies) and claim agency once again?

What control can we have over our Data Double?

What control does it have over us?

“Today we are witnessing the formation and coalescence of a new type of body, a form of becoming which transcends human corporeality and reduces flesh to pure information…. [T]his new body is our ‘data double” (Haggerty, Ericson 614).

-In short, the information collected about us (our credit score, employment history, criminal record, shopping habits, etc.) creates a virtual doppelganger, a “data double” of ourselves. In the refusal to be located/sorted/catalogued, can we induce dissonance with our data doubles? By adapting our appearance IRL, can we become alienated from the biometrically constructed “double”?

Who is hiding from whom?

-I intend to contextualize my contemporary enactment of camouflage with an understanding of its history; a history long and varied, with direct links to both violence and nature. Researching the historical uses of camouflage and the politics that surround it will clarify my own intentions for the form. Access to strategies of hiding appears to be of extreme importance in the years to come.

What are the politics of privacy?

-Is privacy a basic human right or merely a bourgeoisie concept? Who historically has had the right to privacy? Who hasn’t?



-The recent launch of the FBI’s Next Generation Identification program (a “faceprint” system that intends to house over 52 million criminal and non-criminal photos by 2015), a horrifying increase in drone warfare (320 strikes with 2,400 killed within the first five years of Obama’s presidency alone), and the development and implementation of RFID microchips for identification purposes (the Northside Independent School District of Texas plans to implant them into student identification cards next year) are just a few of the reasons why presently exploring our relationship to surveillance couldn’t be more important.


Surveillance moves forward with or without our consent,

with or without our dissent.

-The question of the future of the civil liberties, human rights, and privacy of us and our “neighbors” is tantamount to the question of surveillance. If surveillance is a chain of closely watched links, each location recorded and maintained, every dimension organized according to fixed categories, how can the simple act of covering one’s face break that chain?



Bauman, Zygmunt, and David Lyon. Liquid Surveillance. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2007. Print.

Blechman, Hardy. Disruptive pattern material: an encyclopedia of camouflage.

Buffalo, N.Y.: Firefly Books, 2004. Print.

Haggerty, Kevin D., and Richard V. Ericson. “The Surveillant Assemblage.” British Journal Of Sociology 51.4 (2000):

605-622. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.

Warren, Samuel V., and Louis D. Brandeis. “The Right To Privacy.” Harvard Law Review 4.5 (1890): 193-220. Business

   Source Complete. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.