No. 179

Looking glass

By : Yağmur Uyanık

Entrant’s location : United States of America



An interactive installation that explores the relationship between privacy and self using a robot arm, custom face tracking software and a parabolic mirror.

What did you create?

An interactive installation that explores the relationship between privacy and self. A deep neural network is used to analyze a camera feed of its surroundings. Using this data, a parabolic mirror is repositioned by a robotic arm to always be facing the current viewer.

Why did you make it?

Looking glass was made to offer an explorative self-reflective study while focusing on the development of identity. Through introspective interactions, it challenges the notion of public vs private, and the experience a mirror provides by having it look back. Looking-glass challenges the means to exchange privacy for a distorted image of one’s self in the age of mass digital surveillance.

How did you make it?

We attached a camera to the center of a parabolic mirror. Parabolic mirror was chosen due to its distorting effect to make a commentary on how self-image is produced and constantly altered in the digital space and how accustomed we are to it. This parabolic mirror was held upright by a robotic arm. The camera constantly watched its surroundings and we used a deep neural network and a face tracking algorithm to analyze its feed to find faces that are near-by. Using this data, robotic arm moved to always make the mirror facing its current viewer.

Your entry’s specification

Medium: Parabolic mirror and camera on custom robotic arm, custom face tracking software Year: 2018 Size: 38 x 38 x 56 cm (15 x 15 x 30 inches) Weight: 700 grams (1.5 lb) The piece is installed on a pedestal or on a wall