Trick Surveillance Cameras by Wearing Artist's Face Mask
- By Ginger Hill
- May 14, 2014
Artist Leo Selvaggio lives in Chicago and claims that this city has over 25,000 surveillance cameras all networked into a single hub called Virtual Shield that uses military-grade facial recognition software. This means that a person can be anywhere in Chicago and a camera can not only track that individual but it can pull up all of their corresponding information, as well. Because systems like this are in other cities all over the world, Selvaggio has devised a way to protect the public from surveillance by showing the cameras a different, alternative identity.
Working with That’s My Face, a company that transforms 2D pictures into 3D sculptures, Selvaggio used his own face as a decoy to create masks that people can purchase and wear so that surveillance cameras are essentially tracking Selvaggio, not the person wearing the mask.
Selvaggio has wrapped this project that he refers to as URME (translated “you’re me) up in a nice little package and is currently running a campaign on Indiegogo to fund his three products:
URME Surveillance Identity Prosthetic – a wearable, photo-realistic prosthetic of Selvaggio’s face.
URME Surveillance Paper Mask – a more cost-effective solution sold as a DIY kit; best used by a group of people, such as protestors or activists.
LS Video Encryptor – a facial video encryption program; software will take any video and replace up to 5 faces at a time with Selvaggio’s face allowing the user to make a new file to share.
URME SURVEILLANCE: Indiegogo Campaign from Leo Selvaggio on Vimeo.
According to Selvaggio, all products have been tested for facial recognition and each identifies the wearer as Selvaggio on Facebook.
Selvaggio does not refer to URME as a company, but rather an organized artistic intervention. Because of this, he claims that he isn’t looking to make a profit, so he is selling all three of URME’s products at cost.
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.