Manual Facial Recognition

Installation · 24 jan 2019

Manual Facial Recognition is an installation made with Claude Nassar, Astrid Feringa and Hattie Wade during a workshop at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. It parodies facial recognition algorithms that claim to be able to "detect" emotion from a human face, with a nod to real life dystopian hell concepts such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

Visitors are asked to stand in front of a webcam and a screen, which prompts to "Please step into the frame". When they do so, the prompt changes to "Perfect. Please hold still...". Instead of actually performing computational analysis on the image, one or more people behind a wall are watching a live feed of the webcam. They quickly fill out a printed form, ranking the visitor's emotions and draw a rough sketch of their face. The paper is then handed to the visitor through a hole in the wall.

Manual Facial Recognition Manual Facial Recognition