Strange, Dissected Portraits Play Into Our Fear of Spying

Facial recognition software is everywhere. Facebook knows what you look like, even if your face is hidden in the photo. Google can spot you in childhood snapshots. Walk into a casino, bank, or high-end retailer and there’s a good chance that a security camera can identify you.

Jacob Burge illustrates the ubiquity of this technology in his series Face Off. “[These photos] are my way of representing our current image and surveillance society,” he writes in his artist’s statement, “a place where our identity is being digitized on a daily basis.”

The British photographer lives in Hitachinaki, Japan, and took the photos in Tokyo one year ago using a Fujifilm X-Pro1. He’d read about facial recognition software and surveillance and was inspired to explore the issue using candid street pictures.