Facial Weaponization Suite: A Mask-Making Workshop

Hours: 6:30PM – 9:30PM*
Cost: $0-$50 Sliding Scale

Explore mask-making as a queer and feminist resistance practice against emerging forms of biometric facial recognition.  In this 3-session workshop, we will discuss how biometrics, specifically facial recognition software, subjects women and various non-normative, minoritarian persons to precarity and violence. We will also use masks to think about practices of concealment (such as wearing a veil or burqa) that trouble the societal logic that visibility leads to liberation.

During our first meeting, we will discuss the social and political impact of biometric technologies in global and local contexts as well as imperceptible revolt tactics and feminism through pre-circulated readings.

In the remaining sessions, we will make a “collective mask” from all of the participants’ facial data and collectively perform an intervention based on readings, discussions, and the mask-making process.  Take home a mask and be part of a major group exhibition: additional masks and photo documentation of the performance will be displayed at Eyebeam’s Annual Showcase in January 2014.


Zach Blas is an artist, writer, and researcher whose work engages technology, queerness, and politics. He is the creator of art group Queer Technologies, a founding member of The Public School Durham, and a PhD candidate in The Graduate Program in Literature, Information Science + Information Studies, and Visual Studies at Duke University.   Blas holds a Master of Fine Art, Design Media Arts, University of California Los Angeles.  More on Facial Weaponization Suite: http://www.zachblas.info/projects/facial-weaponization-suite/


The instructor will provide readings prior to the first session, which the participants are expected to read in preparation for the workshop.

Participation is free, but a suggested donation of $5 – $50 is appreciated to help pay for materials.

*Session 1: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

6:30pm – 9:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

6:30pm – 9:30pm

Session 3: Saturday, December 14, 2013

11:30am – 2:30pm

Register here! Space is limited!

People: Zach BlasErica Kermani
Research: Education
Tags: technology, queer, masks, feminism, facial recognition, biometrics