Your face is safe with me

Your face is safe with me, by Tiffany Holmes, is an animation generated from a camera recording live in the gallery and from a database of images the artist collects from Chicago locations surveilled by security cameras.


“What the viewer will see is the computer playing video games against itself for no purpose,” said Holmes, “and the surveillance images, which are fairly recognizeable, come up from time to time in the games.”

The surveillance images of the visitors in the gallery are fed to Pac Man or become the bricks that imprison the player in Breakout.

A large projection portrays the computer playing simple videogames with itself. The games parodied refer to the proliferation of surveillance camera networks and their potential to be perceived as hostile intruders in community spaces—as envisioned in the updated Space Invaders™ game. In one videogame, Pacman™ chomps through a single CCTV screenshot to reveal several others—alluding to our culture’s voracious appetite for covert imagery. The new Asteroids® play involves a tiny ship blasting surveillance camera images into ever smaller ones, alluding to the immense amount of banal imagery generated daily by CCTV networks. The computer used in this exhibition deletes all images gathered live within one hour.

Surveillance-based games: the Zone project, Joey Skaggs’s Art Attack.