Projects: London Windows Make Eye Contact With Passersby

July 23, 2014 by Dave Haynes

Eye Contact from Peter Hudson on Vimeo.

As spotted on Engadget, here’s a new visual art project in London, UK that uses two giant pairs of eyes gazing from streetfront windows at passersby.

The 650 oversized pixels that make up the video windows are at the Welcome Collection’s venue in London and intended by artists Peter Hudson as a commentary on society’s reliance on digital screens.

The Wellcome Trust blog explains the concept of “Eye Contact.”

This artwork consists of over 650 coloured boxes lit by over 16,000 LEDs, which together form two giant pairs of eyes.

We encounter thousands of electronic images every day, via our phones, computers, projectors and televisions. But how does the digital screen mediate our reactions to what we see? Do we experience different emotional responses seeing faces via Skype or YouTube, than we would if we were truly face to face with them?

This installation by Peter Hudson, a recent graduate from Camberwell College of Arts, probes these questions of perception and recognition. It will be winking and blinking at passersby for the next year.

To create the work, Peter recruited 68 members of Trust staff to volunteer to have footage of their eyes recorded. He then transformed this into the heavily pixellated video display that is on show in the windows of our building on Euston Road.

The eyes will change and move throughout the day, displaying the idiosyncrasies of each individual’s gaze. At sunset, the eyes will ‘sleep’, remaining closed during the night, unless they are awoken by a passing pedestrian.

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