In 2014, artist Jillian Mayer measured, in sedulous detail, the contours of her face. On top of a professional, stoic photo of herself, she placed lines and numbers indicating the distance between her chin and forehead, two cheeks, the tip of her nose and the tip of her earlobe, the bottom of her brow to the top of her eyelid, and the vertical length of her lips, from the Cupid’s bow down.
The image appeared in Flaunt magazine and, with Mayer’s Mona Lisa gaze, looking beautiful and maybe indifferent, it had the effect of an advertisement. Alongside the image were these words:
My face is a set of points and measurements between features.
Already, I am aware of my height and width at several varying points on my body.
These are the ways I am identified, grouped, and advertised to.
I have mapped and memorized my facial measurements as they relate to each other.
This is how I identify myself personally and externally.
I do this exercise every five years. You should do the same
…In an age of facial recognition, Mayer’s use of marketing rhetoric renders our projections — that imagined reality of our own ideas and feelings, cast onto another person like a canvas — literal and technological. Can the body itself be a measurable algorithm? Can the emotions contained therein be calculated, like formulas?