We were invited by Selfridges to create an installation for their Spring/Summer 2009 sale, entitled “2109” – an ad hoc vision of domestic design utopia in 2109.
Predictions for the future inevitably say more about the time when the predictions were made, rather than the future itself. Our aim was to make the visitors in the street and store to feel like they have stumbled across a shrine to the past from the future. A bizarre place that feels new or alien in some undefinable way. A blend of analogue and digital. A Future Artefact.
People are the future, and we wanted to say that by reflecting people in unexpected and whimsical ways. We didn’t want to make an animated installation, we wanted to make people animate themselves. We made a time machine, a way of looking through time, both digitally and in the true physical sense. Light takes time to travel, so looking at oneself in the mirror can be though of as time travel. We played with this perception of time throughout the life of the installation.
The installation utilised openFrameworks based face tracking technology, to grab peoples faces from the street in real time. These faces were displayed on the screen, digitally affected by our algorithms and the analogue installation of mirrors and other physical devices. The installation was designed to be effective from the exterior and interior of the store, with cameras aimed at both areas, to encourage immediate street based engagement and further investigation in-store. After the installation, the source for the installation was released.