The Black Mirror is a significant part of the ongoing myFACE project, complementing the Face Dresser installation that is currently under development. It is essentially a screen that is linked to a camera and powered by AI. The screen remains inactive until it recognizes Laura's face, appearing as a black mirror in the absence of recognition. The algorithm has been programmed to detect the artist's face as well as the individual face masks she has created, and while it detects all faces, only those in its database are recognized. Thus, all visitors, except Laura, are identified as unknown.
Adjacent to the screen is a display featuring sterile masks that visitors can try on, with the artist guiding them. The myFACE project operates at the intersection of activism in public spaces and research on the connections between identity, AI, and the weaponization of biometric data. Here, glitch serves as a form of anarchy, and system rebellion (surveillance) is achieved through manipulation. The project raises critical questions about the limitations of AI facial recognition software and how far aesthetic and cosmetic distortions can go while still being recognizable by an AI.
The myFACE project was initiated in the summer of 2022, and its first act involved collecting signatures for the Reclaim Your Face campaign, which is a European initiative aimed at banning biometric mass surveillance practices. The project participants wore silicone masks, some of which resembled the artist's face, while others included alterations and distortions. Participants took pictures and videos with their mobile phones and shared the content on social media. By subverting the system, algorithms on social media may have identified the artist as an individual subject appearing in multiple places simultaneously, creating a glitch that fractured and multiplied the individual registered identity known as 'Laura A Dima.'
Try it yourself: https://lauraadima.com/BLACK%20MIRROR%20WEBCAM%202.0/