I am an poet, novelist, digital artist, lecturer and Ph.D candidate in the Cinema and Media Arts Program at York University (Toronto, Canada). My dissertation studies the cinema of facial recognition technologies and their impacts on citizenship, mobility, and crisis. I am currently a member of the Public Visualization Lab, an Elia Scholar, a VISTA doctoral Scholar, and a 2020 Joseph-Armand Bombardier doctoral fellow. I have led multiple workshops on creating with facial data, most recently “Understanding and Hacking Facial Recognition Technologies” at Inter/Access Gallery as part of the Vector 2021 festival.
My latest poetry collection is Catalogue d’oiseaux (Book*hug, April, 2021).
Catalogue d’oiseaux began as notes sent to poet Aaron Tucker’s long-distance partner. Not initially intended for publication, the writings moved, over time, into a long, lyrical, confessional love poem. Following the couple on travels across the globe—from Berlin to the Yukon, Porto to Toronto—this poem is expansive, moving sensually through small, intimate spaces and the larger world alike. Traced through art, architecture and the cultural life of varied cities, Catalogue d’oiseaux lives between geographies and chronologies as a kaleidoscopic gathering of the many fractals that make up a couple’s life. This is a stunning work; a celebration of the depth of adult love, and the elemental parts of life that make it so.
Thanks knife | fork | book for hosting a booklength Reading of Catalogue d’oiseaux in the summer of 2021.
If you missed the lunch, featuring Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Kirby, and Julia Polyck-O’Neill, and videos by Adam Seelig, Daniel Scott Tysdal, and Lia Tarachansky you can find it below:
Information about my novel Y can be found here and about the French translation, Oppenheimer, can be found here. Information about my prior poetry collection, Irresponsible Mediums can be found here. Please feel free to click around and if you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at aarontucker82[at]gmail[dot]com.
My current research in the Cinema and Media Arts at York University involves studying the cinema of facial recognition technologies (FRT) alongside research creation that build and trains FRT using Tensorflow and Keras and employing OpenCV and Python, as well as a variety of publicly-available datasets like FERET, the ORL face database, and the recent IBM Faces in Diversity. There is an urgency around the need for public-facing and easily digestible explanations of FRT, and by extension guidelines for ESAs, as it is widely accepted that facial recognition software can, and very often does, contain biases in its code libraries and/or training databases. From this, my dissertation responds to the urgent need to build a stronger criticality of technologies of citizenship and mobility in order to best comprehend how such technologies are manipulated by the political and social conditions of crises. More specifically, my dissertation will examine the effects on the political contestation of citizenship and mobility by biopolitical vision technologies within crises, in particular facial recognition technologies (FRT), in order to build a critical toolkit that empowers resistance and interventions into those technologies.
You can find more information about my research in progress by listening to a recent talk and/or visiting my page detailing my conference presentations; you can learn more about my research creation projects by visiting the Creative Works page.
See the attached image for details about upcoming readings! If you are interested in having me read or perform from any of my projects please contact me at atucker[at]ryerson[dot]ca.
Y: Oppenheimer, Horseman of Los Alamos
J. Robert Oppenheimer: reluctant father of the atomic bomb, enthusiastic lover of books, devoted husband and philanderer. Engaging with the books he voraciously read, and especially the Bhagavad Gita, his moral compass, this lyrical novel takes us through his story, from his tumultuous youth to his marriage with a radical communist and the two secret, consuming affairs he carried on, all the while bringing us deep inside the mind of the man behind the Manhattan Project. With the stunning backdrop of Los Alamos, New Mexico, Oppenheimer’s spiritual home, and using progressively shorter chapters that shape into an inward spiral, Y brings us deep inside the passions and moral qualms of this man with pacifist, communist leanings as he created and tested the world’s first weapon of mass destruction and, in the process, changed the world we live in immeasurably. Order on the site!
I also recently did an interview with Stephen Hurley at VoicEd. You can listen below:
Fall 2017 was a busy season for me! I launched two books! The first, irresponsible mediums is based on The Chessbard, an app that translates chess games into poems. The text translates all of Marcel Duchamp’s chess games into poems and includes an introduction from former two-time U.S. Women’s Chess Champion Jennifer Shahade.
I also launched Virtual Weaponry: The Militarized Internet in Hollywood War Films. This book examines the convergent paths of the Internet and the American military, interweaving a history of the militarized Internet with analysis of a number of popular Hollywood movies in order to track how the introduction of the Internet into the war film has changed the genre, and how the movies often function as one part of the larger Military-Industrial- Media-Entertainment Network and the Total War Machine. The book catalogues and analyzes representations of a militarized Internet in popular Hollywood cinema, arguing that such illustrations of digitally networked technologies promotes an unhealthy transhumanism that weaponizes the relationships between the biological and technological aspects of that audience, while also hierarchically placing the “human” components at the top. Such filmmaking and movie-watching should be replaced with a critical posthumanism that challenges the relationships between the audience and their technologies, in addition to providing critical tools that can be applied to understanding and potentially resist modern warfare.