Security & Exchange

Interactive Gallery Installation

Have you ever been in love?

This project investigates the question, “What information are people willing to provide a machine under the guise of technological security?”

A projection screen divides the gallery into an “inside” and an “outside” space. In this overhead diagram, the outside space is marked in yellow and the inside space in blue. The white space is inaccessible to spectators, since it is blocked by the proejction screen on one side, and a barrier with a keyboard on it on the other side.

The projection surface is semi-transparent, so a projected image is viewable from both sides of the surface. However, the image appears blurry to those viewing it from the outside space. This is achieved by projecting against two pieces of vellum spaced a few centimeters apart. When the spectator views the image from the outside, they see a brightly colorful screen accompanied by text and a photograph. The blurriness prevents them from identifying the exact words or subject of the photo.

Upon entering the inside space, a camera recognizes the presence of a person and changes the projected image. Instead of the colorful screen, the spectator sees a grey image with a lock on it. Beneath the lock is a personal question that the spectator can choose to respond to by typing in a response on a keyboard inside the space.

Upon submitting an answer, the spectator is presented with another question. They can choose to continue answering questions or leave the space. Examples of questions include:

  • “What do you think about when you are alone?”
  • “Have you ever been in love?”
  • “Do you pick your nose?”
  • “What do you fear most?”
  • “Do you believe in god?”
  • “Are you uncomfortable right now?”

When the spectator leaves, the camera recognizes their absence and switches the image back to display the colorful background with text and image. Many spectators will then realize that the text and images being shown are, in fact, their own responses to the questions they answered alongside their own photograph captured by the machine.

Technical Info

Materials and Hardware: keyboard, camera, projector, vellum

Software: Custom application written for macOS in Objective-C and C++. OpenCV used for computer vision.