Marcus DeSieno: Art + Science Award – Second Place
In the Lenscratch call Art + Science Award: The Heart of the Matter, we asked photographers to consider a shifting perspective of our current world, placing emphasis on the most pertinent themes that reside throughout the boundaries of art and science. Due to the superlative quality of the submissions, it was challenging to narrow down from 137 portfolios to seven final selections.
This week in Lenscratch, we look at the seven winning artists who use photography to investigate themes emphasizing the impact of emotional, physiological and environmental forces upon individuals and societies. Some projects shed light on dualities like beauty and fear or human rights and authority, while others resonate with a singular vision
In a broad sense, each of the winning artists submitted a series of photographs that makes the invisible visible. From the questioned intentions surrounding surveillance to the exposure of transitioning fungi, these works share interwoven threads with the current frenetic stillness of our world.
Linda Alterwitz and Patrick C. Duffy
Marcus DeSieno is a visual artist and educator based in Ellensburg, Washington. His unique vision has been inspired by the invisible world – from microscopic bacteria to the unseen political ideologies that are integrated within current technology. In his series Recognition Patterns: A Coded Gaze he sheds light on the power and authority of facial recognition technology in regard to individual rights and freedom. Ultimately, through this series, he questions the current and future role of facial recognition upon the evolution of our societies.
Computers are now actively seeing and interpreting the world. There is a whole visual language created for machines that is invisible to most of us yet imbued with human biases, bigotry, and prejudice. “A Coded Gaze: Recognition Patterns” is a body of work investigating the invisible architectural authority of computer vision in the 21st century and its impact on our understanding of freedom and identity. This project uses facial recognition programs built for, and then applied to, a personal archive of photographs from the 19th and early 20th century. I collaborated with computer programmers to build custom facial recognition algorithms and alter pre-existing algorithms that identify human faces and emotions. I apply these algorithms to photographs that allude to power narratives including: the criminal justice system, paternalism, nationalism, racism, and sexism. Artificial intelligence researchers and activists often point to these categories when discussing the multitude of potentially harmful complications within facial recognition, machine learning, and the overall role this technology plays in our society. I specifically use skewed computer programs that further imbue gender and racial bias on their targets to belabor the point. The mark-making and facial analyses formed from these algorithms reinforces the existing invisible oppressive structures of machine vision and asks the viewer to question the role of facial recognition technology today. Allusions to power and authority are embedded in each piece in “A Coded Gaze: Recognition Patterns” to question what the future holds for us as this technology continues to evolve – for better or worse.
Marcus DeSieno is a visual artist who is interested in how the advancement of visual technology continually changes and mediates our understanding of the world. DeSieno is particularly interested in the unseen political ideologies embedded in this technology. He received his MFA in Studio Art from the University of South Florida and is currently the Assistant Professor of Photography at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. DeSieno’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Aperture Foundation in New York, Paris Photo, The Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Photo Access in Canberra, Australia, Center for Fine Art Photography, Candela Gallery, Center for Photography at Woodstock, and various other galleries and museums. His work has also been featured in a variety of publications including The British Journal of Photography, Boston Globe, FeatureShoot, GUP Magazine, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, National Geographic’s Proof, PDN, Slate, Smithsonian Magazine, Washington Post and Wired. DeSieno was named a selection for Photolucida’s Critical Mass 50 and an Emerging Talent by Lensculture. His first monograph, No Man’s Land: Views From a Surveillance State, was published by Daylight Books in June of 2018.
Linda Alterwitz a visual artist whose artwork engages photography, collage and interactive installations. Her projects focus on the unseen rhythms of the human body and our relationship to the natural world. Alterwitz’s creative practice has been informed by a fourteen-year exploration of scientific technologies that provide visualizations of our physical and cognitive states.
In 2015, Alterwitz was the recipient of the Nevada Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship. Her work has been published in Smithsonian Magazine, Orion Magazine, The New Statesman, Musee Magazine among others. She has exhibited her work in both traditional exhibition and site-specific installations in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Spain, Israel, Germany, Greece and Poland. Alterwitz lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Patrick C. Duffy melds a love for art, giving and entrepreneurship in a state he calls home: Nevada. With his position as President/CEO of Nevada School of the Arts, Duffy spends much of his non-working hours promoting Arts & Culture in the Las Vegas & Reno communities and several out-of-state philanthropic efforts. Having built a long-standing and respected professional sales and marketing career in fine jewelry and hospitality, Patrick Duffy motivates and mentors’ artists, colleagues and customers, and can address and engage public audiences on a variety of best-practice topics including: Priceless Customer Service; Have to/Want to; and the Five Pillars of Life.
Duffy’s passion and commitment for the arts, complete with gifts placed in museums from London, New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. to Las Vegas, Reno, Bloomington, Santa Fe, San Francisco and Honolulu, have garnered both national and international recognition for his philanthropic efforts to the arts. His sense of artistic acumen coupled with a keen eye for museum quality art is reflected in the Goodman Duffy Collection. The legacy of the Goodman Duffy Collection is currently part of the Smithsonian Institute, Archives of American Art.
Duffy has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts; former Vice Chairman of The NEON Museum; and curator of The Odyssey: A Visual Art Experience for the annual Life Is Beautiful festival in Downtown Las Vegas. As President of the Las Vegas Art Museum (LVAM), Duffy constructed a relationship (MOU) between the museum and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas–Barrick Museum of Arts to preserve the integrity of the LVAM collection. Additionally, as a former member of the Foundation Board of Directors for Opportunity Village, Duffy took a steering role in developing the Opportunity Village Art and Enrichment program and previously served as the appointed Arts Commissioner for the City of Las Vegas.
An accomplished motivational speaker, Duffy has been featured on global stages for his business experience, and locally; at Leadership Las Vegas on Art and Culture, and as an Inspire speaker at ‘Delivering Happiness Inspire!’ sponsored by Zappos.
Patrick Duffy is a dynamic leader who enjoys seeking the very best in every relationship, both professional and personal. Duffy resides in Las Vegas with his husband Luis, where they both continue to collect, and support the arts in both the US, Europe and Mexico.
Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.
Torrance York: Art + Science Award – Honorable MentionNovember 14th, 2021
Alice Hargrave: Art + Science Award – Honorable MentionNovember 13th, 2021
Benjamin Dimmitt: Art + Science Award – Honorable MentionNovember 12th, 2021
Bremner Benedict: Art + Science Award – Honorable MentionNovember 11th, 2021
Rebecca Cummins: Art + Science Award – Third PlaceNovember 10th, 2021