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work

WeAlgo

[person_by] Martine Stig

July 2021

WeAlgo is a new way of meeting online, a playground where you create your - fluid - identity. WeAlgo uses facial recognition algorithms to protect our screen privacy, instead of violating it. It lets you move freely through a truly shared space. A ball masqué, anonymous yet truly there. Without storing and sharing personal data, WeAlgo makes transparent the information our effigies implicitly provide. The use of vectors instead of video stream results in a 95% reduction in bandwidth, and therefore CO2 footprint.
The project takes place at at interfaces of: art, product design, technology and society. The sub-areas we research with WeAlgo: Privacy, Identity & Sustainability have an overarching impact in every field:

Privacy
Facial recognition is increasingly used to discover or verify the identity of people. The ubiquity of these types of systems in the public space is in violation of our privacy. Since Corona, video conferencing platforms have become a haven for meetings; an increase in virtual public spaces where data is available for the taking. Wealgo is all client side script, icw with WebRTC / peer to peer communication. Face recognition is processed in the browser and we only send datapoint & colouring information to peers in the room. We don’t collect or store any user data.

Identity
Facial recognition algorithms are (just like humans?) made to profile; to reduce to gender, ethnicity or social class, resulting in discrimination. WeAlgo empowers to play with your (fluid) online identity, to profile yourself.

Sustainability
The advance of video conferencing seems unstoppable, question is whether the increase in bandwidth - and thus the CO2 footprint - is still sustainable. Most streaming services have switched to lowering the bandwidth, reduce video quality. WeAlgo uses near-zero bandwidth by only sharing the computer vision coordinates over the web; can be compared to sending a text message instead of a picture, resulting in a reduction of 95% bandwidth.
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Martine Stig
Martine Stig (b. 1972) is an artist based in Amsterdam. Point of departure in her work is the photographic image; the voyeuristic act: photography (verb) and the autonomic product: photo (noun). Whilst using the medium (and moving away from it) she researches its role in the perception of reality.

studies

Part of Studies

still from Art for Machine (artist talk)Martine Stig2020

still from Art for Machine (artist talk), Martine Stig, 2020

Martine Stig

2020

In this research I focus on the changes the photographic image has undergone in the transition from analog to digital. In fact, the photographic image has become bilingual; it is both image and data and can be read by man and machine.

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