Enter Biometric Mirror – a spongy temple for tech, where audiences posture for an algorithm that measures emotional stability and so-called beauty (among other biometrics). This cushioned arena crosses realms of ceremony, sport and worship, creating a physical space that questions the accuracy and assumptions of intangible facial recognition algorithms.
Biometric Mirror is an immersive and at times controversial installation that blends the act of casually glancing at one’s reflection with modern algorithmic perspectives on facial perfection. The artwork explores the accuracy and flaws of artificial intelligence and the ‘uncanny valley’ of algorithmic perfection and its potential black mirror outcomes. A handwritten AI tracks visitors’ faces with a digital facial augmentation and itemises their personality traits. Trustworthiness, kindness, calmness, fear, weirdness or intelligence – visitor’s faces become the artwork’s and the algorithm’s protagonist.
Join Lucy McRae, Natasha Greenhalgh and Dr Niels Wouters in this interactive panel discussion as they unpack the rationale behind the work and the important questions it raises: Do we cuddle up to AI’s promise to detect and protect or do we distance ourselves from sensors that monitor day and night, in an attempt to preserve privacy and personal space? You will also have the opportunity to join a virtual tour of Biometric Mirror at the new Nxt Museum in Amsterdam.
Lucy McRae is a science fiction artist, filmmaker and body architect. Her work speculates on the future of human existence by exploring the limits of the body, beauty, biotechnology and the self. McRae works across installation, film, photography, artificial intelligence and edible technology.
Natasha Greenhalgh is creative director at Nxt Museum. Her background is rooted in art and design, having studied at Chelsea College of Art in London and worked in the UK and the Netherlands for renowned creative agencies (Brinkworth Design & FutureBrand Uxus).
Dr Niels Wouters
Dr Niels Wouters is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Science Gallery Melbourne. His action-based research practice in human-computer interaction explores the (un)democratic use of new and emerging technologies.