Collaboration with Hanwen Zhang (outside of ITP).
Peeking is an experimental interactive video art piece that discusses about nowadays privacy security and the fear people are experiencing due to the feeling of insecure.
Tools & Softwares used:
- Arduino Uno & Distance Sensor
- MAX MSP
- Mad Mapper
- Surveillance Camera (live-feed)
- Air Beam & Team Viewer(for the purpose of live video streaming)
As the audience are brought to the installation, one of them are to be picked out and sit at the table. He/she will be encouraged to look into the box through the hole in front of him/her. During the whole process he/she won’t know what happens behind him/her. As she/he approaches the box trying to peek through the hole, the hidden distance sensor will detect her and send a signal to open the 2 cameras and 2 displays at the same time.
Camera 1: in the box, capturing the individual audience
Camera 2: on the ceiling, capturing the group of audience
Display 1: in the box, displaying the group of audience captured by camera 2
Display 2: on the ceiling, displaying the individual captured by camera 1
As the display on the ceiling is automatically turned on (which the individual audience doesn’t know), the group of audience behind the individual will be drawn and look up at the ceiling. They will see the individual audience’s face projected on the ceiling, as if the person is looking down from high above. As they are drawn to look at the projection, they don’t know that the camera 2 on the ceiling is capturing them as well. The individual audience will see the group of people looking up (displayed on a small screen in the box), which seems like they are looking up from the bottom of the box.
The entire setup is intended to create a creepy environment and atmosphere. Anytime the individual audience turns around and attempts to see what happens behind him/her, the sensor will detect that and send a signal to shut down the 2 cameras and 2 displays, therefore he/she will see Nothing.
In the whole experience, both the individual audience and the group of audience don’t know that they are captured by a surveillance camera. What they are focused on is that they are watching someone else or some group of people secretly. They might feel like it is a joke about who they are watching, but they are not aware that they are part of the “joke” themselves.
People are born curious. Nowadays we are all watching so many people on social media everyday. We are mainly focused on what we are watching. However, as we are creeping on other people, we are often being watched as well. Nobody is absolutely secured after all. Through this project, I want to encourage people to reflect on their own privacy security issue. As we take advantage of the convenience of shared personal information and enjoy the satisfaction social media bring us, we should also be alerted that there is always some trade-off.
Wiring up the Distance Sensor
Sensor Attached on Box
Demo on Screen