“Fragments”, Mechanical Mirrors

Random International studio  has an interesting art installation, Fragments. The piece is a n array of mirrors with motors to rotate them. A comptuter detects a face and tracks it, swiveling the mirrors to face the face.

As Mark Wilson comments, ti is “a narcicists’s dream come true.

Technically, this isn’t terribly difficult, but it does produce a very striking effect, at least for a minute or so.

It looks to me like the tracking algorithm is pretty simple. You could play around with a lot more complicated tracking behavior. For instance, the mirrors could follow a swarming process, the longer you stay still the more mirrors “gather”. And when you move, they “scatter” like birds.

Thinking about it, I wonder what happens if there are two or more people in view. Does it track everyone? Or pick one? In principle, it could use an algorithm to impose it’s or “taste”, and track the “prettiest” or “most interesting” or “most important” face, snubbing the others. That would be kind of cool.

And could we “dance” with the mirrors?  They would have to do more than blindly follow, maybe have variations and maybe take the lead sometimes.  The mirror might be coordinated with lighting or other robot furniture….

I also thought about putting a pair of these arrays facing each other, in an infinite regress. How would the mirrors respond to the mirror images? If things were tuned right, there could be waves of excitation, or maybe chaos.

An interesting piece, and it made me think.

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