Douglas Coupland’s photobooth will throw Facebook off your trail—for now.
Facebook, never content to simply fulfill its purpose as a vehicle for older folks to see monthiversary photos of their grand babies, keeps pushing the bounds of creepy/cool technology. Last year they began to roll out Deep Face, a facial recognition tool that’s 97% accurate—12% more accurate than the FBI’s facial ID system. Deep Face served as the inspiration for Canadian artist and novelist David Coupland’s Deep Face: Communicate with your future self, a “de-recognition" photobooth presented by Artsy at The Armory Show that produces portraits obscured with blocks and barcodes that will (hopefully) throw Facebook off of your trail. The images are sent to participants as a GIF, some of which you can find on social media under the hashtag #ArtsyProjectsArmory. It might work for now, but somewhere down the line Facebook may be able to identify us by even a sliver of our faces. "20 years down the road when you find that GIF in that old junk drawer or whatever and you’re like, 'I wonder if [facial recognition software] will still be able to find me,'” Coupland tells The Creators Project. "And maybe it's just one half of your ear showing, and that may still be more than enough information than they need to actually tell it is you."
Deep Face is accompanied by Slogans for the 21st Century, which line the walls of Artsy’s booth at the fair. "The slogan project started four or five years ago when I started coming up with statements that would probably not make sense to someone from 20 years ago, but make perfect sense today," says Coupland. Among them are “My data stream doesn’t judge me,” “There’s always a VIP card better than yours,” and “You and your selfie are merging.” They’re available for Armory visitors as a series of tote bags, which is pretty meta considering the fact that sporting a tote bag of an oblique quote by an artist is quite Slogans for the 21st Century-worthy itself.
To learn more about Artsy's booth at The Armory Show, featuring works by Douglas Coupland, click here.