The Race Code

The Race Code is a photography based installation that tackles with issues of race, culture and perceptions of one’s self and the other. The installation consists of a photo booth, a face recognition software and a wall projection of a matrix of faces. The program takes a passport-like picture of the viewer, performs instant measurements of the face, which then appears on the projected matrix of faces.

The photos are ordered according to their “race code” into higher or lower ranks. The Race Code mimics the inner “selective” feelings that humans have towards each other. Presented in public space, it also reminds us of the ever-present surveillance cameras, often coupled with similar face recognition systems. The Race Code challenges the ideas of “race” or “peoples” as any kind of a way in rating or defining us.

The Race Code is Matti Niinimäki’s and Timo Wright’s first collaboration. It was presented in Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki in early 2012 and had its first presentation in public space during the Media Facades Festival 2012 at the Bio Rex wall on August 23-26.