Photograph © Jem Finer of online audience member (Marcia Farquhar) watching the live video stream of Eye Contact on Jan 18th 2014
Durational performance for web-cam and interactive video installation
Vantage 3, Darwin House, Departure Foundation, Leeds, UK
'Eye Contact' was inspired by the proliferation of portable commodities that blur the disinction between camera, mirror and online device and the growing cultural anxieties around narcissism and surveillance in the era of online social media.
For my performance at 'Vantage 3' I stared, over a period of five hours, into a specially adapted two-way mirror with a web camera concealed behind it. The camera converted the mirror's reflection into an online broadcast . During my performance the virtual audience were invited to ‘stare into my eyes’ remotely and anonymously. I did not know at the time if my gaze was being returned by thousands or, more likely, no one. As time passed, I came to feel detached from my mirror image and to see my reflection as just another unknown observer. The live audience were free to study my actions and interact with the mirror in my absence.
This project was made possible by a commission from the Departure Foundation. Vantage 3 was curated by Adam Young.