Fred Périé

Still from installation capture
Video Installation, 2018
Fred Périé

keywords : gaze, surveillance, machine célibataire, interactivity/interpassivity

The public enters the room through a black curtain; in this space, that can be quite large, there is a camera filming in wide shot. A spectator's gaze is randomly chosen and projected in close-up on a big screen. The system then follows him inexorably for a while, until it looks for another spectator gaze. If none can be found, the image suddenly zooms out and what is projected is what was filmed before, but in reverse motion. However as soon as someone tries to look at this past, his eyes are detected and immediately projected.

Transparencies printed with red bars are made available in the exhibition space so that spectators can hide from the detection system. Nevertheless, to be able to discover what was recorded, they will have to act all together.

Etymologically, the French word regard (gaze in english) comes from guard and it has retained this sense of what protects / monitors and especially who does not let go. Here the machine would only be the automated relay of this regard, which eventually becomes without any regard.

The work owes its title to several forms of asymmetry:
  • Asymmetry of power between, on the one hand, the machine that captures everything and analyzes every detail, and on the other hand, the simple act of looking.
  • Asymmetry of scale between the gaze and its projection in large format: what is the more personal to us is given to see to everyone.
  • Asymmetry and lateral instability because the one who is targeted, spontaneously points its gaze in turn to one of his eyes and then to the other, this oscillation being perceived with a slight delay.
  • Asymmetry of knowing, because everyone tries to recognize who is selected by the machine, either wishing to see oneself or fearing it, the only way to be sure being to start moving and to see how the image reflects this movement.
  • Asymmetry of situation, since we can only see what the machine has recorded, if we do not look directly, if all together we succeed in hiding ourselves, either behind a curtain or behind a mask. If nobody is there, the past then flows without anyone to look at it.