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Exhibition in China reflects on loss of anonymity to recognition technology

An artwork exhibition exploring the affect of facial recognition expertise has opened in China, providing a uncommon public area for reflection on more and more pervasive surveillance by tech corporations and the federal government.

Hosted collectively by the southern mainland metropolis of Shenzhen and its neighbour Hong Kong, the Bi-Metropolis Biennale of Urbanism and Structure options greater than 60 installations from Chinese language and international artists exploring the lack of city anonymity caused by technological change.

The “Eyes of the Metropolis” exhibition is being held at Shenzhen’s Futian station, the primary mainland cease on a high-speed rail hyperlink that opened in 2018 amid apprehension in Hong Kong about its deepening integration with mainland China.

“Stations have historically been a spot of anonymity, however they’re changing into locations the place really every part is thought,” the present’s chief curator, Massachusetts Institute of Expertise professor Carlo Ratti instructed Reuters.

“This is among the issues we need to focus on.”

The exhibition comes at a delicate time in China.

Protests towards China’s affect have rocked the previous British colony of Hong Kong for months and the fast unfold of facial recognition expertise has triggered debate about privateness.

The New York Occasions reported in November {that a} Beijing arts centre cancelled Chinese language-American artist Hung Liu’s present of antiwar work for no clear motive although she believed it was associated to Hong Kong.

Requested if he was shocked the exhibition had been allowed to open given the unrest in Hong Kong, Ratti mentioned he “discovered an openness for dialogue” in Shenzhen.

“There’s most likely not a greater place to debate these points … it is a world situation and the easiest way to cope with it’s to open up these applied sciences and put them within the fingers of the general public,” he mentioned.

Reuters was unable to contact the occasion’s organisers and international media weren’t invited to a gap information convention amid concern they’d ask about Hong Kong, based on folks with information of the matter.

The exhibition includes a facial recognition system that guests can choose out of, to attract consideration to the shortcoming to choose out in public, Ratti mentioned.

Different works embody facial screens that observe guests’ emotional engagement with the displays and digitalised photographs of fishing boats in one in every of Shenzhen’s older harbours utilizing superior Lidar expertise by artists Ai Deng and Li Lipeng. – Reuters

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