15 Minutes of Biometric Fame

Marnix de Nijs is the first TASML artist in residence to conduct robotics / artificial intelligence research. His installation 15 Minutes of Biometric Fame will comprise an autonomously moving robot equipped with a camera. The robot will scan the faces of exhibition visitors and link them to a database of national movie and TV stars.

The  installation will be equipped with biometric video analyzing software which detects and scrutinizes the faces of the people in front of the camera. Rather than try and identify the person, the software probes for facial features and characteristics that are similar to one of the pre-selected persons in the data base. Visitors will be classified according to their celebrity match and can also become a star themselves. Categories will include various types of fame, such as movie stars, soap idols, and reality TV personalities.

The installation is designed with direct reference to the camera dollies that are used in television and cinema production and further reflect on the glamour and notoriety surrounding the industry, an industry that is not only populated with inaccessible stars but also people from everyday life. This is especially true of the television world with the present-day popularity of reality TV, in which anyone can become a star for as long as the show lasts.

The software features a dynamic database and each time a face is categorized and matched with one of the pre-selected TV personalities, an image of this new face will be displayed on a large public screen. Since the visitor now has a newborn celebrity status, their face will correspondingly be added to the data base. The ID’s of the visitor will be tagged with the category and various character features of the original TV star that primarily authorized the visitor’s face to enter the database. Character features may include details about their love-life and other such gossip.

Tsinghua University’s specially assembled team for this project consists of:

Team supervisor: Prof. Yuanchun Shi [1]

Yu Zhong, [1] [2]

Xin Li, [1] [2]

Mingming Fan, [1]

Dr. Huijun Di, [1]

[1] Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University

[2] Department of Information Design, Academy of Art and Design, Tsinghua University

Page last updated on September 28, 2011 at 4:02 am