art projects
Panoptic Panorama #2: Five people in a room
Categories: Art

Five people in a room

Commission: Commissioned for The Public Private exhibition
Exhibition: The Public Private
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery,
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center,
Parsons The New School for Design,
2 West 13th St, New York City.
February 7 – April 17, 2013
Materials: Video cameras, monitors, computers
Description: In this installation, a ring of five cameras is configured to continuously monitor a 360-degree field of view. The resulting panorama is then displayed on five screens on a wall. Software filters the video captured by the cameras to show only one person’s face on each screen. The footage of each person loops, only being replaced once a new person stands in front of one of the cameras.

The software demographically profiles these five people according to their age and gender and adds subtitles from corresponding Facebook status updates. For example, a 25-year-old male in the gallery is conjoined with text from a 25-year-old male on Facebook. The status updates function independently for each individual person, yet also work together as a narrative of five chunks of text representing the five demographics shown on the screens. Each time a new person enters the picture, the narrative is reconfigured without compromising the narrative across the five screens. Hence viewers find themselves in spatial and narrative dialogue/contact with four other previous occupants of the gallery, unable to remove themselves from scrutiny until somebody else puts themselves on display.

Panoptic Panorama #2 juxtaposes the oppressive qualities of centralized control—from surveillance to profiling—with the persistent urge to broadcast oneself through status updates, and explores the resulting narrative (im)possibilities.

Credits: With thanks to DXARTS, Yi Ding, James Hughes, Jimmy Johnson, John Robinson and Reid Swanson.
Technical: Computer vision algorithms built in OpenFrameworks and OpenCV. Facebook narrative system built in Java and MySQL.
Reviews/News: Parsons Exhibit Displays State of Online Privacy
IMAGES: pp6 pp7 pp8 pp9
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VIDEOS: image Once video starts, click ‘Full screen’ to view text. Best viewed at 1080p.

Categories: Art -