Eyeballs are cameras

Andre Stubbe likes to program behaviour. Looking at his work during his studies at the digital media class, he always tried to explore how interaction creates narratives and also how blank spots or errors become objects of interpretation or even signs of life to the audience. The reactions to outerspace, which he co-created with Markus Lerner, already were amazingly diverse, ranging from a completely mesmerized little boy at ArtBots to a person who ran away from it screaming.

udkandre1.jpgLooking for a way to emphasize more on this interpretational side of interaction (and how to manipulate it), Andre first looked at marionettes, especially the great work of Lara Greene whose “Ape” achieves to take on a life of itself for the visitors, even though they themselves are who control it. Eventually, he decided to focus even more – on the eye. For his thesis project, he designed two robotic eyes: a blue one in a black case and a red one in a white case. Those eyes are equipped with cameras which track both each other and and human faces. The eyeballs can move, the lids open and close and the whole object can also rotate.

Together, they form an installation which communicates with itself until someone appears and disturbs the “conversation”. Then, depending on the movement of the person, the eyeballs might break their contact and focus on him or her – just like at a party where it might be hard to become part of an already existing group and also might lead to unforeseen reactions.

More of Andre’s eyes on Flickr.