Bill Spinhoven: I/Eye

A classical interactive installation about privacy and being watched.


Although we are generally unaware of it, our daily comings and goings are constantly being monitored by cameras and other surveillance-equipment: whether we're in a bank, at an airport, in a museum or a supermarket, our presence is being registered and checked-out practically round-the-clock, as if we were all potential criminals. Big Brother is watching you, or rather peeping surreptitiously at you.

The interactive I/Eye (1993) however, gazes at you quite openly with the naked eye. I/Eye is a giant eye that fills the entire screen of a video monitor. Not only does it look directly at you, it follows you and actually moves with you. Initially, you think that you are the observer, but then you realise that you yourself are also being observed. (Spinhoven filmed his own eye in numerous different positions, which, via a computer programme, responds instantly to 'real life' recordings of the observer.) Finding yourself eye to eye with I/Eye you experience, tangibly as well as mentally, what it's like to be regarded, scrutinised and tracked almost as an object - some nameless thing. At the same time your own secure position as observer feels somehow undermined, an unnerving experience....

Bill Spinhoven / Netherlands Media Art Institute
20 september 1993


Oorspronkelijke drager:
Netherlands Media Art Institute