Your Face Here

MIIA AUTIO / FIN

*1986, lives in Helsinki

In her photographic work, Miia Autio deals with the rules of structural power and the associated assignment of identities, which often leads to the inclusion or exclusion of individuals. For her flag motifs, she takes a look at the history of anthropometry.


In 1880, the French anthropologist and police officer Alphonse Bertillon developed an identification method based on physical measurements. Originally developed to identify criminals, the person identification system named after him was a forerunner of today's facial identification and thus modern surveillance systems. In criminology, however, it was largely abandoned in favor of fingerprint identification.


Bertillon had found that the identification became more accurate with an increased number of body measurements. When taking 11 body measurements, the chances of finding another person with those same measurements was 4,191,304 to 1. He decided this was sufficiently accurate and suggested the use of the following 11 body measurements: body length, arm span, seat height, head length and width, length and width of the right ear, length of the left foot, length of the left middle and little finger and length of the left forearm. Today, countless features can be scanned and evaluated in a matter of seconds and, with the appropriate legal power in place, decide who is allowed where and when.

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