New Work

BIOMETRICAL DATA, A FAMILY PORTRAIT

BIOMETRIC SELF PORTRAIT

WHITE WORK for 169 SYRIAN CHILDREN

GENETIC INHERITANCE

See images and description at: http://www.reed.edu/art/ondrizek/

After my sabbatical at the Max Plank in Berlin where I studied the work of George Geilple and the origins of Biometric Data (see The Origins of Biometric Data), I embarked on a body of work that comments on the surveillance systems used in the extreme vetting process for refuges entering the US.

When a refuge applies to come to the US they go through extreme vetting which includes all forms of their biometric data collection. It is a 20 step process, and takes five to seven years. They are fully vetted by both the UN and then the US. What is taken: hand and finger prints, photos of the Iris, facial recognition cages made from frontal photos, ear shape, voice recognition, hand writing/signatures and a DNA Profile. Since I am from an immigrant family from Eastern Europe and my husband’s family is Palestinian, I decided to make a set of works based on this collection using myself and my family. We work with Syrian refuges in Portland so the piece White Work is a result of helping refugees here and honoring them.  

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Biometric Data, A Family Portrait

Is comprised of family photos and facial recognition taken from each black and white photo of family members. The program used is described in detail below. The system was not publicized or put on line, and in the end there is a book of all data. The quilt and the book made has an abstraction of the faces, in fact the piece in the end obscures the system of biometric data gathering.

Biometric Data, A Family Portrait-Technical information
The photographs used for this piece are old family photos, my family is on the left and my husbands on the right, my son’s pictures are in the center. These family photographs were put through a Landmark Generator program designed by my student, Brian Bartz. This is “a trained facial shape predictor,” used to determine landmark points on the face. This essentially means the photograph is passed through a computer system known as a neural network, which has “learned” how to predict the shapes of faces by performing statistical analysis and error reduction on a huge dataset of face images. The neural network provides a face shape for the current photograph, which manifests as 68 pixel coordinate points that correspond to the original image. The Photographs, the images of the pixel coordinate mapping, and the Delaunay Face cage, were printed on transparent silk panels and sewn together.  Each family members images has on the back their Delaunay face cage. ) Each piece serves as a quilting panel for the larger piece.
I then used the most common feature that consistently appears on each side of the family.
In my case, my grandmother/ mother and my own nose check mouth and in my husband, his father and grandfathers eye and eyebrow. These cropped triangulated patterns were used as an overlay and become what is now common called a facial recognition decoy. The grid of the overall quilt now has a triangulated abstract shape overlaying it. The work will hang in a space so both sides of the translucent cloth can be viewed. The entire piece will be presented both hung and in a box to be read like a book. Two other boxed sets with each person’s image and all biometric data will accompany the work.
It should be noted that this program design by Brian Bartz did not use the internet and none of the images are accessible. However this technology he used is exactly what the FBI, CIA and all surveillance systems uses for extreme vetting.
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A Biometric Self Portrait

A Biometric Self Portrait was made from glass cast of my hands, fingerprints and ears, the most vital area to have biometric information gathered. The cast were done with geltrate a material that duplicates a perfect detail of your body and is used in forensics. Given that these and all aspects of our body is completely unique, these permeate pieces will record my biometrics forever.

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White Work FOR 169 SYRIAN CHILDREN

I hand embroidered signatures of Syrian children who recently arrived in Portland. ( I volunteer with these children). These are on antique “White Work” a western tradition of making “pure textiles” with white on white for table linens and in earlier time religions cloths.  “White Work” was originally done in the middle east and imported during the crusades for Lentin alter cloths.

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Genetic Inheritance

Using a Genetic inheritance mapping of each family member provided through a National Geographic Genetic test, I invented a system to measure our bodies genetic make-up. For example my test results were, 53% Iberian, 32% Eastern European,10% North Eastern Europe, 5% Central Asia. Each area is color coded by the Genetic team according the region so Iberia is fuchsia, Eastern Europe red, North Eastern Europe blue gray, Central Asia turquoise blue. I took these colors and made a self-portrait in which each color is represented in the percentage of my 5’ body on a silk panel. I blurred the edges as there is no real distinction. I did this for my husband and son as well.  The panels are printed on six layers of silk, and will be hung in a space so light can flow thought them. 

I see each project I am currently doing as an artist book. Each will be housed in a box or book like format.  They can be opened, leafed through, hung, displayed and archived.