2005 Différance Engine (the Narcissus Pool)

Interactive  projected image and aural environment installation - Robotic Servo Drive Camera, Artificial Intelligence Facial Recognition

MFA Open Studio, Universty of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


3D Installation Design Schematic




Project Video and in Operation



 This work was developed in collaboration with graduate students at the Human Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Saskatchewan. The video installation used an ArtificiaI Intelligence based facial recognition software linked to a sensor and robotic servo on which the infra red surveillence video camera was mounted. When someone sat in one of the three chairs the sensor activated the servo and the camera turned towards the chair. Once in the frame the AI software took over. The AI had learned how to recognize faces and track them. I asked the software engineers to  adjust the AI  so it would track the eyes and draw a red rectangle around them. This video was then mixed with with a video clip altered by the same red rectangle of the famous execution in Vietnam taken by NBC television cameraman Vo Suu during the war . An audio track that included white noise, the fetal heartbeat of my unborn son and the words "the war can never end."  was added. These words that are spoken again and again as the video loops came to me in contemplation and reflection of my own experience in monitoring conflict zones in my work with Médecins Sans Frontières. While the statement refers to visual signifiers in the video - it also reflects upon the situation of my own mind caught between knowing the horror of war and the ever unfolding life of peace and privilege that my son was likely to enjoy as a Canadian.