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Gaze : meeting the expectation

Ai-Chen Lin

Man look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves.

http://www.aichenlin.com/gaze.html

Classes Thesis

Gaze is inspired by my own experience as a daughter: the elder male figure is a representation of my father; the younger male figure is an ideal son figure that has never existed in my family. The installation aims to augment eye contact engagements. More specifically, it wants to talk about the relationship between my father’s attentive look and my desires to be look at.

Audience
gallery visitors

User Scenario
The piece takes place in a room that has been divided by a piece of transparent fabric. The fabric does not extend clear across the room— an open space on one side allows viewers to move between the two spaces. The first space has dark walls and a white surface. Through the transparent fabric the viewers see a human form from the next room. The form is blurry and unclear as it is seen through a see-through material. When the viewers move to the next room, they see that the image is of a man; standing with his back to them. But the viewers’ presence in the second space also activates a sensor tha4t causes the male figure to turn around; he keeps staring at the viewers for the duration of their stay. While the viewers are occupied by the male figure’s look, another figure appears on the screen behind— an image of a young man look identical to the older male looking toward the viewers and older figure. (When the son figure appears, its projection lights up the space so then catches the viewers’ attention to shift the viewers’ gaze around.) Being in the space, the viewers will find it difficult to position themselves in relation to the figures. The viewers might wonder: who they want to look at? Are the figures looking at them? Or are the figures just looking at each other? Both figures keep looking at the viewers until the viewers leave the space.

Conclusion
Having to work on Gaze for a year at ITP, in the beginning it started with technical aspect and sooner I realize that it is important for me to think about what the eye contact encounter means to me. It was a courageous process for me to unfold this experience with my father. The discovery pushes the project one step forward. It is from a personal viewpoint, but ultimately I hope that people in the comparable situation can resonate with the concept. I hope my discovery will continue to unfold and express.