Subtitled bodies

Subtitled Public is an empty exhibition space where visitors are tracked with a computerized IR surveillance system. Texts are projected onto their bodies: these “subtitles” consist of thousands of verbs conjugated in third person and they follow each individual everywhere they go. The only way to get rid of a subtitle is to touch someone else: the words then are exchanged between them.


The installation invades the supposed neutrality of museums and galleries. It also highlights the danger of surveillance systems that typecast and try to detect different ethnic groups or suspicious individuals, as in the latest computer-vision devices that are being deployed in public spaces. Finally, Subtitled Public is a commentary on our era of technological personalization, literally branding all spectators and converting them into “thematic individuals”.

By Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Via rhizome.