Friday, January 30, 2009 at 7:30pm
Hooded and Headless: An Erratic Survey of Anonymity in Recent Video and Life

Curated by Harry Dodge

"The human brain is bombarded with information, and our brains automatically eliminate redundant information and remember only unique features in order to identify objects or people. FaceIt video cameras capture a face and are fed into a computer which identifies people by their facial features. Visionics, the manufacturer of the system, concluded there are 80 unique landmarks on a face, which include eye sockets, cheekbones and the bridge of the nose. The computer measures these landmarks and their relationship to one another. Since each face has its own unique pattern, with the exception of identical twins, the computer is able to distinguish one person from another by referencing the person's face against a database of known people. While the program potentially has 80 landmarks to work with, the computer only has to match 14 to make a reliable identification. The software ignores changeable characteristics like: hair color, hair style, lighting, and facial expressions. On May 7, 1999 Visionics announced that their FaceIt surveillance system has benchmarked at 12 million comparisons per minute."

- Christopher Benjamin, "ShotSpotter and FaceIt: The Tools of Mass Monitoring," UCLA Journal of Law and Technology (2003).

"Privacy is the basis of individuality. To be alone and be let alone, to be with chosen company, to say what you think, or don't think but to say what you will, is to be yourself. Solitude is imperative..."

- United States v. White, 401 U.S. 745, 762-763 (1971).

This program consists of a short talk on the function and condition of anonymity vis a vis the hood, followed by a program of films and videos, including a new work by Harry Dodge, that evoke or exploit hoods, masks, facelessness or headlessness. What does the hood reference? What does it allow? What is gained and lost with the obscuring of a face? (Or the complete dispatch of a head?) What is the relationship of the face to compassion? What is the relationship of specificity (the local) to ethical response? What is possible in a performance without a face?

Kardinal, Otto Muehl, 16mm, 1967, 5 mins
Clown, Luther Price, S8mm, 1991, 13 mins
Somethings Gonna Soon, Math Bass and Dylan Mira, video, 2008, 4 mins
See Yourself, Nadia Dougherty, video, 2008, 4 mins
This Beast Called Force, Harry Dodge, video, 2009, 16 mins
Essential Current Affairs, Dan Acostioaei, video, 2003, 4 mins
Being Bamboo, Brian Bress, video, 2006, 3 mins
Sans Gravity, Nao Bustamante, video, 1998, 1 min
Porky, John Sturgeon, video, 1974, 2 mins
Deadendless, Tom Dale, video, 2007, 2 mins
Venery, Matt Sobel and Chuck Gordon, 2008, 4 mins

Harriet "Harry" Dodge is a visual artist working in video and sculpture, with a focus on shape, unnameability, and hybridity/defiance. In the 90's Dodge ran a community-based performance space called The Bearded Lady, while also writing and performing several critically-acclaimed, large-scale monologues. By Hook or By Crook, an award-winning, feature-length movie which Dodge co-wrote, edited, and directed, premiered in 2000. After graduating with an MFA from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College in 2003, Dodge became part of a collaborative videomaking team whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the 2008 Whitney Biennial. More recently, Dodge co-founded the collaboration TESTHOLE, which has since undertaken a series of community-based, interventions/partnerships experimenting with decomposition and fertility. Dodge teaches art and writing at CalArts, UCLA and UCSD.

Tickets - $7, available at door.