Every day, hundreds of cameras are watching us, facial recognition systems are becoming more and more perfect, and the place of current speculations about the future is occupied by sophisticated and advanced technology. Cameras are able to recognise our age, mood, or sex and precisely match us to the database – the concept of disappearing in the crowd ceases to exist. In the name of security we are overcontrolled, offline and online via coding, where all our internet movements, searches, purchases and communications are tracked for Capitalist/commercial and control reasons no matter the website, app or social media. Our civil liberties and related boundaries are far from violated. From here, in which direction will the society of surveillance develop?
Several methodologies have been tested to try and thwart growing facial recognition technologies, however perhaps none are as elegant as Polish designer Ewa Nowak’s conceptual jewelry. Her project, Incognito, was born out of her own uneasiness about the global state of privacy, and was tested using Facebook’s DeepFace algorithm to ensure its success.
The implement is worn like glasses, with arms reaching around the wearer’s ears. Two round pieces of metal cover each cheek, and an elongated piece extends upward between the eyes, creating a trifecta of polished objects that help deflect software used IRL in security systems and public cameras, and online through social media.
Incognito recently won the Mazda Design Award at the Łódź Design Festival. You can see more of her projects, including a reflective mask also used as a way to keep one’s anonymity, on her website.