A performance by Leannej & My Name Is Scot
Human Identification at a Distance is an exercise in surveillance or inverse surveillance, an attempt to subvert the self-monitoring that conditions our public expectations and cloaks our private emotions. The goal of the performance is obliquely confrontational, covertly confessional; two figures, co-opt the gestural guises and costumed coding of ‘Authority’ and ‘Activist’, setting out from opposing points, marching through the crowd, broadcasting individual monologues, probing, measuring, interrogating, exploring the constructions and consequences of separation and connection. Their movements ultimately define a shared space and the figures converge, their individual voices blurred in an antiphonic chorus of recognition and misidentification.
While the namesake program developed by the U.S. Information Awareness Office (IAO), Human Identification at a Distance employs biometric systems in order to: “… identify humans as unique individuals (not necessarily by name)…at any time of the day or night … possibly alone, disguised or in groups…”, with this performance, and the ensuing dialogue, Leannej & My Name Is Scot hope to support the unguarded expression of personal traits and private thoughts and promote unprejudiced public encounters that occur beyond, or in spite of, the bounds of CCTV culture.