a cyber-habitat of

Jingtian Zong


MIRROR 1-3 (2019)

#interactive installation, #reproductive image, #facial recognition, #projection mapping 

Mirror 1-3 (2019) is an interactive experience discussing digital media and identity. By blending optical and digital images into one viewing experience, the project invites introspections on how interactive media has transformed the viewing, reproduction, and distribution of self-images and, as a result, the ontological perception of the self.

The experience consists of three optical-digital mirrors, incorporating technologies such as real-time video manipulation (MaxMSP), facial recognition (FaceOSC), and projection mapping (MadMapper). It begins as a single-person experience and evolves into a collective one, where boundaries of assumably independent, holistic selves dissolve, faces and bodies shattered, altered, and remixed.

Mirror 1  A tabletop mirror. An audience sees the reflection of their face in three different forms - an optical reflection, a live video, and a pixelated abstraction - reintegrated as one image.

Mirror 2  A room filled with fragments of optical and digital mirrors. Reflections of bodies float and shift in the space, shattered, flipped, resized, and distorted.

Mirror 3  An empty mirror frame that provides no visual feedback.

/* The use of optical mirror results in a first-person-POV-only experience. Any other pair of eyes, either a camera's or a person's, cannot observe the same stitched reflection. The installation plans demonstrate how the experience looks from a first-person point of view. */

Mirror 1-3 draws inspiration from zzyw's critical essay, "The Ambition of Interactive Art", as well as pioneer artists such as Joan Jonas, Scott Snibbe, and Nam June Paik. Often referred to as human-computer interaction (HCI) in the contemporary discourse of digital art, interactivity has existed long before and beyond digital media. Mirror 1-3 challenges the audience to reimagine interactivity beyond the confines of the human-computer framework and its extension into unexpected connections, self-reflection, and artistic expression in a broader sense.

Mirror 1-3 was exhibited in the IMA Capstone Show on May 10, 2019, at NYU Shanghai.