Jason C Romero: July 2008 Archives

A new class of software could solve some of the confidentiality concerns that ethnographers encounter when taking photos of participants -- an issue that I recently pondered.

2008-07-30 face swap.jpg

I conducted a brief stint of fieldwork in Tokyo over the summer and wanted to take photos of my participants using their keitai (cell phones) and/or pasocon (personal computers). One of the issues I "faced," however, was maintaining their confidentiality while taking pictures that were also aesthetically pleasing. This meant that I gravitated towards taking pictures of them while wearing a mask (in a subtle nod to Mishima's Confessions of a Mask) instead of blurring their faces out.

However, there is an interesting and exciting piece of software that can swap out the faces that appear in photographs. The impetus behind the software is to protect the privacy of individuals that are captured in public photographs, such as those that appear on Google Street View.

Unfortunately, it doesn't exist commercially, yet, but it does present an interesting solution to a problem as such.

(Via Boing Boing.)

Boing Boing TV has expanded their offerings into a "world" series. Here is a piece of what Xeni has to say about it:

"On behalf of all my Boing Boing and Boing Boing tv colleagues, I'm excited and proud to announce the debut of a new series within our daily video program: BBtv World. This ongoing series will feature first-person glimpses of life around the world, told through the lenses and voices of Boing Boing editors, guest collaborators -- and through the people in these places, their own stories, their own way. When we can, we want to place the camera directly in the hands -- literally -- of the people whose lives, cultures, and lands we're visiting."

This short snippet alone is interesting to me because it touches on the desire to put the camera in the hands of others, an issue that Karen has addressed before.

It is also interesting to think about the way these mainstream public productions of knowledge play into ethnographic creation of any sort. In other words, what does an ethnography mean -- both in terms of content and genre -- to an audience that has access to these other forms of knowledge that intersect with the goals of ethnography?

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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Jason C Romero in July 2008.

Jason C Romero: September 2008 is the next archive.

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