Staring Faces

A staring contest where the participant faces the person who went before them, and the person who comes long after they’re gone.

People leave traces, and ‘Staring Faces’ is an installation that connects people to the humans around them by allowing them to leave a trace of themselves on a screen.

It premiered at the ITP Winter Show 2022 (V1). Hundreds of people visited the work, and showed an array of emotions experiencing the piece over the course of 2 days.

It was set up again (V2) on the ITP Floor in Spring 2023 for documentation.

I had this idea at Art in Transit in 2018, and it took form at ITP.

Timelapse of V2
Participant Journey
  1. The installation requires Person A to press the button to initiate a staring contest with the face displayed.
  2. If Person A blinks, the contest ends and the screen returns to the starting display.
  3. Next, Person B can engage in a staring contest with the saved image of Person A.
  4. This cycle continues, creating a trace of previous participants and potentially sparking conversation between strangers.

Technical Setup
Staring Faces runs a Javascript sketch that uses a webcam to track a person's eyes and blink state.
It lives on Glitch.
ITP Winter Show Livestream (V1)

Physical Setup
Mimi Yin (For the encouragement)
Danny Rozin (For the encouragement)
Jeff Feddersen (For the encouragement)
Sharan Mohanadoss (For the beautiful documentation)
Andriana Mereuta (For the breautiful documentation)
All the participants