Make Me into My Selfie:

Self-fixing and the Biopolitics of Selfie Software in China

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The project explores the cultural and political effects of AI-driven face detection and retouching software, especially in the context of China. Combining methods of ethnography, historical analysis, and critical theory, I consider the materiality of selfie software and how it is algorithmically designed alongside narratives of users who describe and reflect on their own practices. By investigating the feedback loop between users’ self-management and selfie apps’ mechanic controls, I explore the “honorific” as well as “repressive” aspects of selfie software.

Face as a "Mathematical Problem":

History of Facial Quantification from Chinese Figural Art to 19th-Century European Criminology and Psychiatry


A history of earlier “facial algorithms.” In contemporary facial detection, the face is seen as something calculable and quantifiable. But this is not something new. In earlier traditions, from the Chinese figural art and 19th-Century European criminology and psychiatry, we can find a similar desire to quantify the human face and treat it as a field of units that could be rearranged, modulated, and interpreted.