Conceptual, interactive, interdisciplinary installation, new media, political, public engagement, sculpture, software, social practice, and technology, are words that describe my art practice. What I am, however, is a creative researcher. I think through making and my experiments in the studio lead to a line of questioning that I build iteratively into a focused and rigorous body of work. My research often examines the entanglement of identity with technology. Like good science fiction that asks, “what if?”, I think of technology as a cultural litmus test of who we are, and use it to extrapolate where we are going.
Recently, my work has engaged the idea of thinking of identity as data that can be manipulated or even corrupted in the face of social media and our increasingly networked society. I am interested in how this “data” is tied to the larger context of surveillance and how the prejudicial architecture our surveillance systems are built upon affects how we perform those identities in public space.
My work, “URME Surveillance” involves the development of defense technologies used to protect the public from surveillance by using my own identity as material. Rather than camouflage or hide the identities of the masses, this work invites the public to assume and present my identity as an alternative by allowing them to wear my face as a prosthetic. Thus when surveiled, facial recognition systems attribute their actions as mine. By assuming this risk and responsibility, “URME” challenges and allows the viewer to consider the malleability of their own identities by misrepresenting and corrupting my own.