15 Minutes of Biometric Fame

"15 Minutes of Biometric Fame" (2011) is an interactive robotic installation by Marnix de Nijs (NL). [Work distributed by V2_Agency]

15 Minutes of Biometric Fame

15 Minutes of Biometric Fame; photo: Danwen Xing

The design of the installation 15 Minutes of Biometric Fame is inspired by the camera dollies employed in the television and cinema industries. A camera crane moves autonomously over a large circular track and points the camera at visitors in the exhibition space. The installation scans each visitor’s facial features, using biometric video analysis software, and compares them to those of a vast array of preselected persons in a database. The database features “celebrities” harvested from the Internet through online searches performed in all the world’s major languages.


The comparison process is visualized on an LCD monitor at the back of the camera dolly. The faces of visitors who match preselected persons in the database are displayed on a large public screen and added to the database – elevating ordinary visitors to the status of newborn celebrities.


In the installation 15 Minutes of Biometric Fame, artist Marnix de Nijs ironically deconstructs the processes by which stardom and fame are created by the modern entertainment industry, as well as by ordinary Internet users through various Web 2.0 applications. In our contemporary Internet-driven culture, celebrities include not only glamorous actors and pop singers but also ordinary people who achieve their 15 minutes of fame through participating in reality shows or uploading videos that become YouTube hits.

15 minutes of Biometric Fame can also be ordered with adjusted track-size or shape.


15 minutes of Biometric Fame by Marnix de Nijs (2011) from V2_ on Vimeo.


Interactive installation with camera robot (custom camera, camera dolly and software), LCD screen and projection.

15 Minutes of Biometric Fame developed out of the Artist-in-Residence pilot project for the Tsinghua Media Arts Research Laboratory, which opened in 2010. The work is co-produced by V2_Lab.



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