The effacement or denial of face, which Zygmunt Bauman linked, in 1999, to an absence of identity, should be reevaluated amidst today's biometric apparatus and its optical correction. Responding to David Gauthier and Erin La Cour's observations of the "problematic event" and its potential to undermine the archive with the mark of illegibility, I analyze artworks that have addressed error, failure, and glitch to limn connections between contemporary creative strategies and a history of maneuvers by migrants with the goal of becoming imperceptible. In framing my theory of the accidental and authorial breakdown through an examination of tactical countermeasures of evasion, this essay is also a response to the exploitation of information and optic systems within our current migratory drift, wherein biometric practices are enforced at border control checkpoints and during asylum application interviews, admittance to refugee shelters, residence and naturalization processes, and evaluations of eligibility for basic human rights. Informed by critical race studies, gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonialist studies, "The Glitch of Biometrics" converges media studies with studies of migration to call for a closer look at how technology legitimizes claims to security, mobility, and community.


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pp. 28-51
Launched on MUSE
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