The Thousand Faces of Buddha, Douglas Edric Stanley, 2000/2003

This is a piece that I developed as an experiment in 2000 and despite a small installation at a parisian squat, had yet to really be shown in public. When Aborescence asked if I could present something at the Moulin de la recense (a beautiful old mill, just down the street from my house, in fact), I decided to pull out this old project.

Moulin de la recense Moulin de la recense

The idea is to build a simple program for each installation, no saving allowed (we used an APS battery backup system). Once the program is finished, the installation runs until someone pulls the plug.

The Thousand Faces of Buddha, Douglas Edric Stanley

At the end of a long dark hallway, a faint flickering light of a video projector suggestes the possibility of an image. Using a webcam and infrared lighting, as visitors approach they are offered a mirror reflexion, albeit slightly pixelated and ghostly. This is the “whole” image of narcissus, of the viewer as interactive participant.

The Thousand Faces of Buddha, Douglas Edric Stanley

But with each new visitor to this mirror, the webcam takes a picture and integrates the new image into the program. Each of these images is then used to build up the fragmented individual pixels that compose the whole image.

The Thousand Faces of Buddha, Douglas Edric Stanley

Once 1000 images have been recorded, the system randomly overwrites an older images with a new one.

Moulin de la recense Moulin de la recense

The installation takes place in the “Chapel” of the Moulin de la recense.