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The Metrics of Monstrosity & the Visuality of Crime Detection; from the Victorian era’s Photographic Archive to Artificial Intelligence

Gemmell, Cassandra (2021) The Metrics of Monstrosity & the Visuality of Crime Detection; from the Victorian era’s Photographic Archive to Artificial Intelligence. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Gemmell, Cassandra
Abstract:

In my thesis I seek to address the visual history of mapping criminality, or aberrance more broadly, onto the social and material body as well as the environment. I argue that - from the photographic and cartographic practices of the Victorian era to the contemporary development of
biometric facial recognition and AI which seek to predict crime and track COVID-19 - exists a genealogy of visual- spatial rendering of identity and nation and oppressive systems of
classification. I would like to reframe Victorian era scientific practices such as phrenology and
physiognomy as well as anthropometric photography as producing a visual archive of aberrant cartography. I draw parallels between the visual archive produced from these practices with
Enlightenment era social mapping of poverty and pathology. In our present context, I argue that these visual practices which configure and trap identity in their visual-spatial matrix - persist as a spectral presence haunting contemporary visual-spatial technologies. I situate maps as visual evidence of a system of classification that also provide powerful narratives of monstrosity/
aberration vs the social norm which have historically, and continue to be, powerful political tools in
the constructing of realities. Ultimately, this thesis will take a critical, multi-disciplinary, and
historical approach in questioning AI algorithmic objectivity by situating it in a longer genealogy of
visualising and classifying aberrant bodies.

Date: 2021
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories
Date Deposited: 11 May 2021 19:56
Last Modified: 11 May 2021 19:56
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3418

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