They are then applying these averaged images to their own standards of self-representation.
Brains engage, get turned on, and off, and judge these images of bodies in rapid succession. We might assume that in their digital multiplicity and sexual openness, such images constitute a freedom of sexual representation, but what has become increasingly clear is that, en masse, gay men are producing their own standards of participation that exclude differences from within their own community, and that it is through user participation that such standards occur. In my studies and practice I consider how fascisms are arrived at through the deceptively neutral nature of apps that display people as equal alongside each other, as relative squares.
This is unlike the standards handed down to the public by mainstream culture and is fertile ground for satirical artists. Faces within borders are displayed to users as if they were objects of choice through a personal device that commoditizes them.
Machines learn to interpret faces by parsing as many images of faces as they can. If “the face” is a way of organising contrasts (or contrasting pixels) on a grid so that they represent a face, then we can refer to deviations in the arrangement of contrasts that move faces further from a norm that is recognisable or acceptable.
If human users repeatedly affectively process similar faces then that composite ‘face’ must inform desirable standards in their mind. A face-recognising machine can say, “yes, it is a face” or “no, it is not a face” about any image given to it in rapid succession.
If we are to read partial photographs of the body as faces, then the torso pic is the ultimate version of this – flat, reflective, stern, universal and unrevealing…
dare I say “masculine.” Grindr selfies and body shots do not externalise maximal folds of emotion or meaning.Here we find through the interface that multiplicity exists in terms of the singular: the subjectivity of the individual user.With subconscious awareness that others will judge us in the same way we judge them, and sensitivity towards threats of our own masculinity and sexuality, we prepare ourselves and man the defences according to our own rules or categories for selection.Affection-images are a language through which humans read the interior state of others.I wrote about this in a past publication titled , where I made the claim that even if we see a torso or a penis (without a face) on Grindr, we attempt to read another person’s affection into its features on some level, as if reading a face.To break out of the frustrating cycle of these apps as an artist, I turn to satire and digital artwork that involves subversion of the Grindr ‘face.’ I like to refer to my facial subversions as “caricatures” because they extend or violently reduce essential qualities in representations of Grindr as a system (while not critiquing the individuals using it).