in transitu, 2021-2024

white curtain, JPEG, Instagram profile, gender recognition AI

Click to load imageA selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project next to an image of the gender recognition results from that selfie. The results are male, 53% female, male, 99% female and 98% feminine.

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A selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project next to an image of the gender recognition results from that selfie. The results are male, 53% female, male, 99% female and 98% feminine.

Click to load imageA barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. The word TITS is written on her chest with red lipstick.

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A barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. The word TITS is written on her chest with red lipstick.

Click to load imageThe first barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. The image was taken in week 45 of 2021.

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The first barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. The image was taken in week 45 of 2021.

Click to load imageGender recognition results from the 76th selfie in the in transitu project. The results are male, 94% male, male, 71% female and 58% feminine.

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Gender recognition results from the 76th selfie in the in transitu project. The results are male, 94% male, male, 71% female and 58% feminine.

Click to load imageA person looking at in transitu on display at the opening of Young Danish Photography 2023 at Fotografisk Center in Copenhagen. Photo by Troels Jeppe, Fotografisk Center.

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A person looking at in transitu on display at the opening of Young Danish Photography 2023 at Fotografisk Center in Copenhagen. Photo by Troels Jeppe, Fotografisk Center.

Click to load imageTwo people looking at in transitu on display at the opening of Young Danish Photography 2023 at Fotografisk Center in Copenhagen. Photo by Troels Jeppe, Fotografisk Center.

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Two people looking at in transitu on display at the opening of Young Danish Photography 2023 at Fotografisk Center in Copenhagen. Photo by Troels Jeppe, Fotografisk Center.

Click to load imageThe 32nd barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. The image was taken in week 24 of 2022.

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The 32nd barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. The image was taken in week 24 of 2022.

Click to load imageThe 61st barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. The image was taken in week 4 of 2023.

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The 61st barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. The image was taken in week 4 of 2023.

Click to load imageGender recognition results from the 79th selfie in the in transitu project. The results are male, 95% male, male, 99.1% female and 96% feminine.

To reduce website CO2e emissions, project images need to be manually loaded.

Gender recognition results from the 79th selfie in the in transitu project. The results are male, 95% male, male, 99.1% female and 96% feminine.

Click to load imageThe 77th barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. She is wearing smeared lipstick, her mascara is ruined and her eye brows are unified. The image was taken in week 21 of 2023.

To reduce website CO2e emissions, project images need to be manually loaded.

The 77th barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. She is wearing smeared lipstick, her mascara is ruined and her eye brows are unified. The image was taken in week 21 of 2023.

Click to load imageThe 94th barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. She is making a pouty face, while holding the book "At performe transkønnet vrede" by Gry Stokkendahl Dalgas. The image was taken in week 38 of 2023.

To reduce website CO2e emissions, project images need to be manually loaded.

The 94th barechested selfie of the artist Ada Ada Ada from her in transitu project. She is making a pouty face, while holding the book "At performe transkønnet vrede" by Gry Stokkendahl Dalgas. The image was taken in week 38 of 2023.

About

in transitu is an ongoing performative photo project on Instagram about how algorithms understand gender.


Each week, I document my gender transition by uploading an image of my bare chest on Instagram. Since the platform doesn’t allow female nipples, the question is: when does my body fit the social media site’s definition of womanhood?

After running the project for 10 weeks, I decided to give my followers an additional insight into how gender recognition algorithms work. While we await Instagram censorship, I provide results from various publicly available gender recognition algorithms, e.g. by Microsoft, Amazon and the Alibaba-backed face++. This gives a continuous look into how computers attempt to recognize human gender.


The project acts as a sort of reverse engineering of Instagram's moderation protocols. In using my own transgender body, I show how inconsistent the inner workings of Instagram censorship is.

On the 30th of March, in transitu had its first image removed from Instagram. It didn't last long, however, because the image was put back up a week later. I hadn't made a formal complaint over Instagram's decisions. They simply decided that the image did not, in fact, contain female nipples.

As of 16th of October 2023, the project is in a state of censorship limbo. This limbo appears in two ways: recommendation guidelines breaches and sensitive content marking.

  1. Some of my images are intermittently marked as in breach of the recommendation guidelines. Which images are in breach changes from week to week, and at times, none of the images are lised as in breach. I continuously document these breaches on my Instagram profile.
  2. Five of my 90+ nipple images are currently marked as sensitive. This means that users need to actively decide that they want to see each image. There is seemingly no way to contest this marking.

Through these discoveries, in transitu continues to bring new perspectives to discussions surrounding gender, "artificial intelligence", algorithms, internet culture, and censorship.


All the images are taken in my own bedroom with my smartphone.

The gender recognition services that I use are from Amazon, Clarifai, face++ and Microsoft, as well as an open source program called face-api.js.

See more

Find in transitu on Instagram here

Exhibitions

  • Group show. Ung Dansk Fotografi @ Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Group show. Danish LGBTQ+ VR Museum, Cyberspace.
  • Group show. Klub22 @ Northside Festival, Århus, Denmark.
  • Solo show. PRUST @ Kulturnatten, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Press

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