Level of confidence: Open-source art memorial to the missing #ArtTuesday


Via New Scientist.

Level of Confidence by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Baltan Laboratories, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, until 16 September

Green points and lines plot out your features, taking stock of what makes your face unique. The haunting expressions of young men stare back impassively, as a progress bar marks how far the software has got in matching your face with one of theirs.

This is Level of Confidence – a chilling and moving work by Mexican artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Currently on show at Baltan Laboratories in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, this work is a response to the kidnapping of 43 student teachers in the city of Iguala, Mexico, in September last year.

The students had been protesting over teachers’ wages and union rights before they were rounded up, taken into the hills and, it is believed, turned over to a local drugs cartel. Most people think they were killed and their bodies burned – drug-related atrocities are all too common in the Guerrero part of Mexico.

The monochrome collection of their faces is composed of photos taken from their national IDs. It reminds me of my class directory from university. They look so young, yet there are marks and discolorations on the images that evoke bullet holes and blood, hinting at the violence we can only speculate they endured.

Turn technology on its head

Most facial recognition draws on a vast database of potential matches, but Level of Confidence uses only the ID photos, coupled with three common algorithms – Eigen, Fischer and LBPH (Local Binary Pattern Histograms).

This technical arrangement is deliberate: Lozano-Hemmer wanted the matching process to take long enough that viewers would have chance to connect with the images and to see themselves in every one. By matching our faces to those of the students, Lozano-Hemmer aims to make us feel a kinship that often gets lost with today’s global news information overload.

After 25 minutes, the artwork tells me it has found my match and I see an enigmatic boy staring back from an incalculable distance. I try three times and the answer is the same: a 74 per cent match with Jesus Jovany Rodriguez Tlatempa – a level of confidence so high it might be a record, Lozano-Hemmer tells me.

The artwork is a memorial to these lost sons, brothers and fathers. The work is constantly striving for an impossible 100 per cent match, and this is a symbol of the heart-breaking and unending search for a complete answer or resolution to their disappearance. But it is also a way of turning the technology on its head, says Lozano-Hemmer.

Read more.

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in! adafruit.com/mastodon

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.