Neural Mirror debuted at the former Church of Santa Maria della Manna d’Oro in Spoleto, promoted by the Carla Fendi Foundation on the occasion of the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto. The installation uses visual reflection to investigate the characteristics of animate and inanimate objects in a space, it focuses on the role of Artificial Intelligence and data detention, bringing them to the art field. Perception and its memory are a fundamental aspects in the research field of human-computer interaction: Artificial Intelligence aims to replicate the way the human mind works. Reactive to the environment that surrounds it, AI detects stimuli, decodes emotions, and reads the traits of people within its range of action.

In a immersive, contemplative environment, the visitors at first glance experience the installation as a normal mirror. But the viewers’ image soon leaves room to ephemeral, rainbow-coloured clouds of points, generated by the artificial intelligence. The AI’s interpretation of the viewer obscures the mirror and becomes the viewer’s new reflection, making the AI the co-creator of the installation. Information such as: sex, physical characteristics, emotional states and demographic references are registered and translated into a flow of information processed in real time by the AI. The data is then transmitted to custom-designed plotters, that, similar to “computerized scribes”, write out the gathered data with a pen onto massive rolls of paper, as singular strings of JSON code. The recorded data is visible and well declared to the users so that they can see in real time the data being captured. The whole experience is designed as a data stream that flows between the viewers and their analogue reflection, a brief digital benevolent alter ego that returns to the viewer as a river of printed data stream.

  • Client: Fondazione Carla Fendi
  • Date: summer - 2019
  • Category: art installation
  • Sound design: Mario Salvucci
  • Credits: creative coding Giulio Pernice, sound design Mario Salvucci, Vincenzo Pedata light design assistant, Carlo Cifarelli plotter engineering, photos copyright owned by Cristina Vatielli, shooting and editing video So What Pictures