Oriate Bocu: In their own Voice.
This project explores the A.I facial recognition algorithm and the connections with the history of scientific racism. I make portraits of black people who have been unjustly criminalized and combined them with the esthetic of scientific graphics that I transform into Yoruba religious firmas (sings). With this project I aim to expose the continuities–both historical and geographical–in the technologies of surveillance that criminalize black people throughout the African diaspora. At the same time, I seek to undermine the scientific authority of new technologies that once again purport to link physical appearance to human behavior in racist ways. I will recover the memory of the ancestors who were deemed “sorcerers” (brujos) to extend a symbolic homage to them with the same cultural codes that attempted to criminalize them. In this way, I will make a symbolic return from science to “witchcraft” in order to dismantle the colonizers’ stigma and to recognize the power of black people’s knowledge.