Invisible Airs, Contraptions, Bristol, UK

bnr#56 => Invisible Airs, Contraptions, Bristol, UK

Fingerprint

Object: 15

Fingerprint from Harwood YoHa on Vimeo.


Date of origin: 9000 BC
Author/inventor/context:
First explored in the correspondence between William Herschel, then posted in Bengal, and Francis Galton, eugenicist, London in the early 1860s. 'Scientific' identification scheme developed in 1897 by Edward Henry, with Azizul Haque and Hem Chandra Bose of the Calcutta Police.

The fingerprint is by far the most durable and flexible technology of identification-control. By indexing an easily recordable and manageable trace of the body to the notion of unique identity, the fingerprint enables any powerful information processing agency (usually a form of state power) to locate, track and verify any individual on the basis of a votive digit. Francis Galton, who pioneered the cult and study of fingerprinting thought of each fingerprint as containing a little world unto itself. These little worlds, labyrinths of whorls and ridges, each contain their inner minotaur, who eats and shits secrets.

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