[NetBehaviour] Recognised Faces

furtherfield furtherfielder at gmail.com
Thu Nov 5 12:08:04 CET 2015

Recognised Faces by Kristoffer Ørum

#google #bot #faces #search #famous #generative


Recognised Faces is an internet application that generates a daily image of
a face from images found via google’s lists of top search terms. Facial
features in the found images are identified, using facial recognition
technologies usually reserved for mass surveillance, before being combined
into an image of a new face. After being generated these faces are used as
the personal avatar of Kristoffer Ørum on his website, on various social
networks and anywhere else his image might be indexed and scanned for
facial features by intelligence agencies, commercial agents or other
interested parties.

By constructing new faces from parts of the most looked upon images on the
internet Recognised Faces creates a snapshot of the flow of data collection
and facial recognition that happens daily on the internet, thus utilising
facial recognition to generate phantom faces that reflect how computers
perceive us as vaguely recognisable patterns in an ocean of data. When
these phantom images are fed back into the internet, they may help to
destabilise the NSA’s or google’s images of who Kristoffer Ørum is ever so

The glitchy faces that emerge from the computer’s dispassionate gaze
clearly differ from how faces appear to a more human gaze. They may appear
somewhat monstrous and weird, but for the most part they remain strangely
reminiscent of the beauty ideals that dominate mainstream media as well as
most of the internet. What to human eyes might appear to be errors and
distortions reveals traces of the statistical mode of perception that is
really at work here - illustrating shortcomings of much reviled
surveillance technology while providing us with a mechanical mode of
observation that just might reveal things about our species that our own
perception is unable to show us.
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