Decalcomania!, subversive beauty device


From Russia has arrived FindFace, one of the most controversial free software of the recent scene: a facial recognition App that allows users of Vkontakte, Facebook Russian brother with 210 million members, to discover the identity of a person from a photograph in less than a second, with a reliability of 70%. Impressive? Sure. Worrying? Absolutely yes. In safe hands? Unfortunately not. The two young founders of the contested application, in fact, say they are open towards Russian intelligence, claiming to be willing to put at their disposal the algorithm that can work for any photographic database, including that generated from 150 thousand CCTV cameras in the city of Moscow. That’s how a trick for social networks could easily turn into a dangerous weapon of control to the detriment of people privacy. It’s an old debate that puts in contrast the supporters of biometric technologies for greater security, with those who instead believe in the impending threat of global control. The artist, programmer and designer Remina Greenfield did her part to the very serious debate with Decalcomania!, an artwork – only apparently – light and colorful: a set for nail decoration, similar to the very popular kit among the female audience. The decals represent a series of small faces generated from a software for facial manipulation, that applied on the nails of the hands, allowing wearer to protect their identity within many photographs to which we abandon ourself, every day, consciously or not. A “pink revolution” that gives a nod, not without irony, at the most anti-feminist gender stereotypes: the secretary who beautifies her nails. Benedetta Sabatini