FaceOrFactory is a family, a corporation and a laboratory of faces, masks and new identities.

By creating a persona, based on DNA material and 3D scan of each individual donor, who is in return offered a seat in the boardroom of the company and a specific share of its assets, the project aims to modulate a new facial structure as a potent data field, researching contemporary biometric surveillance, cryptomarket, blockchain technology, genetics and scientific ideology. During the process, a face is gradually developed as a complex territory of genetic, juridical, cosmetic, political and military power relations.

By means of an algorithm, specific selection of genetic sequences and phenotypes will start forming biological and informational body-archive of the corporation. Based on informational input of new DNA donors, the new facial identity is forever changing, thus restructuring the corporative hierarchy of the company. This identity, in turn, slowly forms the model of faciality as we understand it – as a territory, a battleground, a system, a machine.

FaceOrFactory is established as a long-lasting artistic research in the field of genetics, law, visual art and philosophy. It is organized in the form of a corporative and artistic system with specific rules, rethorics and visual language. Each year, a new chapter of the creative process explores different theoretical aspects of faciality and models of decentralized subjectivity and is slowly building the whole of autonomous ecosystem FaceOrFactory. These chapters of the project are usually presented in the form of exhibitions, texts and workshops, but are open in terms of exploring different forms, places and ways of establishing their dispersed platform.

What Is A Face?

A face is a surface, stretching over the human body, yet it is decisively seperated from it. It forms a specific topology with its own rules, imagery, language and politics - its own system. The face functions as a constant plurality, always shifting and changing its mask, based on its location and surroundings.

If internet, digital networks and technology imposed on our society an emancipatory possibility of accessible and dispersed distribution of knowledge, communication and socialization, they also tightened the prevalent structures of surveillance, social order and normativity. The positive ability of constant transformation can also be read as a forced adaptation to different economic, political, juridicial and aesthetical bodies of power. The human face is thus a central point between all the different registers of contemporary life - the digital biometric archives, its history of racism and antisemitism, political surveillance and the categorization of criminal identities; the economic space of trading sensitive information and genetic material; cosmetics, plastic surgery and the constantly developing technology of transforming your facial sculpture; AI, robotics and machine learning which are using the human imagery for developing its technocratic surplus.

We are used of criticising anthropocentrism and ideological models of western society through organizing encounters with the non-human Other. It is time to form an ecounter with the non-human, residing in the human itself; the Otherness, a blind spot, living and breathing in the center of human life. A face.

biometric archive

usually a state archive, containing biological data such as fingerprints, facial photographs, pupil scans, etc., of each citizen. Numerous security breaches pertaining to these archives and sales of biological data on the black market have been reported. An archive is both a place for saving and categorizing crucial data in a particular order as well as an active mechanism for economic investment and exercising political control.


unmanned aerial vehicle, usually used in military operations and missile attacks. The same principle is used in the skincare industry with cosmetic drones which enable a targeted delivery system of the product’s active ingredients (peptides, vitamins, etc.) into a specific receptor cell of the user’s skin. A face is thus a territory for beautifying products and cosmetics, intertwined with military rhetoric and protocol.

the mechanism of human facial expression

a scientific monograph, written by Duchenne de Boulogne (1806-1875), highly influential on Darwin's work on human evolution and emotional expression.

Duchenne believed that the human face was a kind of map, the features of which could be codified into universal taxonomies of mental states; he was convinced that the expressions of the human face were a gateway to the soul of man. Unlike Lavater and other physiognomists of the era, Duchenne was skeptical of the face's ability to express moral character; rather he was convinced that it was through a reading of the expressions alone (known as pathognomy) which could reveal an "accurate rendering of the soul's emotions". He believed that he could observe and capture an "idealized naturalism" in a similar (and even improved) way to that observed in Greek art.


a literary concept that refers to one or more imaginary character(s) created by a writer to write in different styles. Heteronyms differ from pen names (or pseudonyms, from the Greek words for "false" and "name") in that the latter are merely false names, while the former are characters that have their own supposed physiques, biographies, and writing styles. Heteronyms were named and developed by the Portuguese writer and poet Fernando Pessoa in the early 20th century, but were explored in greater detail by the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard. FaceOrFactory explores the boundaries and possibilities of heteronyms in the age of information and digital identities.


specific anthropological technique practiced by Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914). This system consisted of five initial measurements — head length, head breadth, length of middle finger, length of the left foot, and length of the cubit. Along with these measurements, Bertillon used photography, now known as a mugshot, to complete this system of record. These methods of identification were combined into a system for law enforcement officials to access information and images quickly.

Although the system was based in scientific measures, it was known to have its flaws. For example, it may not have been able to accurately apply to children or women, as it was mostly designed for men who had reached full physical maturity and had short hair.


a rhetorical device in which a speaker or writer communicates to the audience by speaking as another person or object. The term literally derives from the Greek roots prósopon "face, person", and poiéin "to make, to do". To lend a voice therefore also means to lend a face, a mask.



Our laboratory analysis of gathered genetic material, harvested with buccal swabs in Holey Surface, is based on research paper Genome-wide mapping of global-to-local genetic effects on human facial shape by Peter Claes, Jasmien Roosenboom et al., which explores a data-driven approach to facial phenotyping and explores the possibilities of identification of genetic effects in facial morphology. It is based on genetic mapping of human facial shape and creating a facial segmentation, using a spectral clustering of relevant facial loci, associated with a specific pattern of the genome.

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