Exhibition in China Focuses on Loss of Anonymity from Facial Recognition Technology

An art exhibition in Shenzhen, China, has opened, exploring the impact of facial recognition technology on Chinese society.
John Loeffler
Li Lipeng/Eyes of the City

A new art exhibit in Shenzhen, China, has opened, exploring the impact that facial recognition technology has had on Chinese society in a rare public discussion of the rapidly expanding use of surveillance technology by the government and technology companies.

New art installation in China explores consequences of facial recognition technology in Chinese society

In a new report from Reuters, a new art exhibition, "Eyes of the City," has opened in Shenzhen featuring more than 60 installations from both Chinese and foreign artists that explore how facial recognition and other privacy related technologies have led to the loss of anonymity in urban spaces.


Jointly-hosted by the city of Shenzhen and neighboring Hong Kong, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture is being held at Futian station in Shenzhen, the first stop on the mainland for a high-speed triain between Hong Kong and mainland China that opening in 2018. The rail link has been the source of concern among those worried about Hong Kong's deeper integration with mainland China.

“Stations have traditionally been a place of anonymity, but they’re becoming places where actually everything is known,” said Carlo Ratti, the chief curator for the show and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "This is one of the things we want to discuss."

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The exhibition comes at a particularly trying time for China and Hong Kong. Tense protests over the Chinese government's growing influence in the affairs of the former British colony have carried on for more several months and there has been a broader global concern raised about technology and its effect on privacy in recent years.



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