You know that squirmy sensation you get when you know that someone is watching you? You lift your eyes to meet theirs, and suddenly they turn away; alternately, you meet their unflinching stare and feel your own head turning, as you back away from the eye contact.
There’s so much power in eye contact and in staring; the very ability to be able to gaze at someone says something about power itself. I want to explore this idea of looking and gazing and staring and glaring in my Phys Comp final (albeit in a less straightforward and more fun sort of way).
Here’s my plan: a projector on the wall will show silhouettes or shadows of people walking across it–but only as long as other people are walking in front of the wall. When an observer stops and tries to look at the shadows-silhouette-people, they will also stop and turn to look at that person. In this way, they function as art pieces that are instantly self-aware. After all, art is meant to be gazed at. What happens when the artwork revolts against its function?
I’m going to need some motion detectors that will be able to know whether people are walking or standing still AND if they are standing, can accurately located them. I’ve also got to figure out how to feed all of the right data into Processing so as to be able to run the right stuff. Plus, I need to determine what format the shadow-silhouette-people are in–perhaps movies that loop?
In short, there’s still a bit more thinking and a lot more work to be done.
(I also have a hand-drawn sketch to go with this post that I will upload soon.)