Faces - 2012

Faces is an interactive installation result of the work on face substitution in collaboration with Kyle McDonald. The piece resembles a mirror where people get their face swapped.

The installation is based on the idea of wishing for a new identity: when the subject first steps up, they see their face unmodified. After closing their eyes to make a wish and opening them again, they discover they are wearing a new face. The result is a mixture of a playful, surprising and some times scary experience.

This installation takes advantage of the unique experience of slowly recognizing yourself as someone else playing also with the concept of the uncanny valley by showing a face that perfecly matches the visitors facial expresion but still has some lighting and texturing imperfections. This elicits everything from laughter, to surprise, or repulsion.

Knowing that it takes approximately one second for someone to respond to a completely unexpected event, we store a photograph at 1.5 seconds after the swap -- capturing that moment of realization.

Special thanks to Jose Luis de Vicente for inviting us to exhibit Faces at the Playtime exhibition. To Daniel, Marie, Stephan and everyone at Maison d'Ailleurs in Yverdon for making the first installation possible and to Carolina Romano for all her help retouching the photos and meshes of the faces and to Gerard Rubio for his advice on editing the video.


Developed using openFrameworks and the Facetracker library through Kyle McDonald's ofxFaceTracker addon for OF

All the code is open source and can be found in this github repository.

Some technical information on how the software works can be found in this blog post.