Posts tagged identity

Mastodon is dead in the water

Medium, Mastodon, GNU Social, social media, federation, twitter, identity, free software

This is the first attempt I’ve seen at a decentralized alternative to major social networks that feels like a modern, well-designed, user-friendly competitor, actually surpassing the native UI for Twitter in some areas. There are still some bugs, rough edges, and server downtime issues, but overall it cleanly passes the bar for “minimum viable UX”, and this inspires hope for me that open-source alternatives don’t always mean a precipitous drop in user experience quality.


For more identity, not less

Medium, Dan Hill, identity, nationality, multiplicity, estonia, digital services, post-national

2016 was a year in which modern notions of identity were shut down for short-term political gain. Yet in actual rather than alternative fact, how we live and who we are continues to unfold, dovetail and joyously entwine. Already complex identities, drawn over millennia of trade, migration and social experimentation, become yet more complex with each passing day. Binding that glorious mess to anachronistic approaches to decision-making and identity, rooted in some mythical simpler times, it’s little surprise we are allegedly tearing ourselves apart. The 2016 American presidential election and Brexit referendum results reveal countries apparently rent in two, systems that carelessly allow an almost insignificantly small majority to be described as ‘clear mandates’, by shredding those rich tapestries such that they are perceived instead as crude, diametrically opposed camps. The seams of those political systems are badly misaligned with the reality of how and where we live, clearly foregrounding the concerns of rural voters over urban, a design derived from a previous age of feudal landowners yet still in place.


Facial Weaponization Communiqué: Fag Face  Facial Weaponization Suite protests against biometric facial recognition–and the…

Zach Blas, privacy, identity, facial recognition, computer vision, composite fag face, mask, collective masks, 2012

video link

Facial Weaponization Communiqué: Fag Face 

Facial Weaponization Suite protests against biometric facial recognition–and the inequalities these technologies propagate–by making “collective masks” in workshops that are modeled from the aggregated facial data of participants, resulting in amorphous masks that cannot be detected as human faces by biometric facial recognition technologies. The masks are used for public interventions and performances. One mask, the Fag Face Mask, generated from the biometric facial data of many queer men’s faces, is a response to scientific studies that link determining sexual orientation through rapid facial recognition techniques. Another mask explores a tripartite conception of blackness: the inability of biometric technologies to detect dark skin as racist, the favoring of black in militant aesthetics, and black as that which informatically obfuscates. A third mask engages feminism’s relations to concealment and imperceptibility, taking veil legislation in France as a troubling site that oppressively forces visibility. A fourth mask considers biometrics’ deployment as a security technology at the Mexico-US border and the nationalist violence it instigates. These masks intersect with social movements’ use of masking as an opaque tool of collective transformation that refuses dominant forms of political representation.

Zach Blas. 2012

Identity squatting and spy training. A conversation with Simon Farid

wmmna, Simon-Farid, identity, art, politics, identity-bureau, squatting, occupy, Mark-Stone, surveil

Simon Farid is a visual artist interested in the relationship between administrative identity and the body it purports to codify and represent. In practice, this means that the artist is ‘squatting’ identities that have been constructed by other people for surveillance, marketing or institutional purposes and then discarded. Farid notoriously ‘inhabited’ the identity of an undercover police officer and the one of a politician who moonlighted as a web marketing guru. The first identity was the one discarded by Mark Kennedy, an undercover Metropolitan Police officer who spent almost 8 years pretending to be an environmental activist called Mark Stone. To settle into the life of what the UK calls a “domestic extremist,” Stone traveled under a fake passport and used a driving licence and bank cards bearing his borrowed name. But once Kennedy’s cover was blown however, Stone was nothing but an empty shell. That’s when Farid steps in. The artist reactivated Stone’s email address, started collecting library and store cards, opened a bank account and amassed a number of other identity articles under the name of Mark Stone. By doing so, Farid effectively ‘occupied’ the identity that the police officer had abandoned.


Nakamoto (The Proof). Scan de passeport, fichier numérique .jpg, 2506 x 3430 px, 2014 "Nakamoto est le créateur du Bitcoin,…

ÉMILIE BROUT, MAXIME MARION, bitcoin, passport, forgery, Q2, art, identity

Nakamoto (The Proof). Scan de passeport, fichier numérique .jpg, 2506 x 3430 px, 2014

“Nakamoto est le créateur du Bitcoin, système de paiement révolutionnaire permettant d’effectuer des transactions en ligne de manière anonyme et infalsifiable. Cette monnaie virtuelle est largement employée sur les darknets, réseaux garantissant l’anonymat à la réputation sulfureuse, notamment du fait des activités cybercriminelles qu’ils facilitent (commerce de stupéfiants, faux-papiers, etc.). Dès son premier message public et jusqu’à sa disparition le 12 décembre 2010, Nakamoto a tout mis en œuvre afin de préserver son identité. Non localisable de par ses adresses IP toujours différentes, ses messages sont publiés à des heures aléatoires et écrits dans un Anglais ne permettant pas de déterminer sa nationalité. Ayant créé les premiers bitcoins, on lui prête une fortune estimée à plusieurs centaines de millions d’Euros. L’importance de sa création et le mystère parfaitement maîtrisé autour de sa personne ont aujourd’hui fait de lui un véritable mythe contemporain, alimentant un nombre toujours croissant de rumeurs et de fantasmes.”

Migram’s Cyranoids

mind, personality, psychology, telepresence, identity, projection

“Since 1977 I have been conducting research on cyranoids,” Milgram said. He quickly explained: “Cyranoids are people who do not speak thoughts originating in their own central nervous system: Rather, the words that they speak originate in the mind of another person who transmits these words to the cyranoid by means of a radio transmitter.” The term was inspired by the French play Cyrano de Bergerac, in which a brilliant but ugly man woos his beloved through love letters signed with the name of a handsome nobleman.

Who is hurt by the Google+ “real names” policy?

real names, nymwars, 2011, google+, identity, online, enclosure, corporatism

I think it’s time to get back to basics. More and more of my friends are leaving or being forced out of Google+. Some refused to submit a driver’s license just to prove that their legal name was real. Many cannot safely socialize under their real names. Some just value their privacy. Let’s ask this basic question again. Who is harmed by Google’s “real name” policy?