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Mask : Object Lessons - Sharrona Pearl

Mask

By: Sharrona Pearl, Ian Bogost (Editor), Christopher Schaberg (Editor)

Paperback | 27 June 2024

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Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

From the theater mask and masquerade to the masked criminal and the rise of facial recognition software, masks have long performed as an instrument for the protection and concealment of identity.

Even as they conceal and protect, masks - as faces - are an extension of the self. At the same time, they are a part of material culture: what are masks made of? What traces do they leave behind? Acknowledging that that mask-wearing has become increasingly weaponized and politicized, Sharrona Pearl looks at the politics of the mask, exploring how identity itself is read on this object.

By exploring who we do (and do not) seek to protect through different forms of masking, Sharrona Pearl's long history of masks helps us to better understand what it is we value.

Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.

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