#eye #eye


MEDIA INSTALLTION, Software, Camera, Hologram, Hologram Stand, Projected Image, 2019

Being Miri Segal, 2019, at the exhibition “Stumbling Through The Uncanny Valley”, CCA Tel Aviv,Curator: Chen Tamir
In 2018, the artist scanned her fifty-year-old face. The image was then processed and ‘sculpted’ via an unorthodox usage of a software for the creation of Anime. It was then programmed to take on another life and the obtained result acts like a mirror – mimicking the facial expressions of the viewer who is standing in front of it. The latest presentation of this work – including a metal structure and a glass behind which a camera is capturing the facial expressions of the person standing in front of it – took the shape of a hologram; in a future version of this work, the hologram will also start to speak by itself, following specific words pronounced by the spectator.

Far from the slick appearance of computer avatars, the image at the center of Being Miri Segal looks like a relic, an animated snakeskin – not alive and yet undead. Continuing issues already featured in previous works by Miri Segal, such as Desolate anonymous gazes cross (2014) – in which historical, contemporary, art historical and political references are intertwined – Being Miri Segal brings together a multiplicity of positions.

In an Oedipal manner, the artist decided to present her face without eyeballs; this decision transforms the face of the artist into a mask with its own life and this action brings several connections, from theatricality and dramaturgy (Greek Theater above all) to morbidity (death masks); therefore, Being Miri Segal functions simultaneously as mask and mirror, bringing another plethora of references, the most immediate being the magic mirror of Snow White or the Guy Fawkes mask used by the hacker community.

Today’s technology focused on artificial intelligence (AI) is going through a race of developing deep learning models of the human body. These models will very soon be capable of transforming, in real time, images of people into others seemingly-people or artificial avatars. This new technology is proposing new horizons of playfulness; at the same time, it threatens the authenticity of images, alienating us even further from them; in other words, the agency of realizing fake from real is shifting towards computers. Surpassing Masahiro Mori’s paradigm of the “Uncanny Valley” the questions related to this technology have to do with issues connected to Post Humanity.

Text: Nicola Trezzi