Iris v.1

"Iris v.1" (2003) is a work by Lilia Pérez Romero, developed during an artist in residence at V2_

This project, both a net art project and an installation, works by collecting images of people's eyes, and testimonies about their experiences with sight and memory.

Through the user's webcam, an image of one of the user's eyes is captured and sent to the project's server. Along with the image, users are asked to fill in a form with their personal data and to answer some questions related with the things that they've seen through their lives that have had more impact on them.

A program in the server analyzes the received image in terms of it's iris's average color, iris size and other particular features, and outputs the resulting information to two different applications: a browsable database of eye portraits and narrated testimonies, and a personalized video stream on which the video sequences and their particular order and configuration is an interpretation of the eye's iris analysis.

The database is a metaphor of an 'eye bank' where users donate not their eyes but the memories of what they've seen and the images of themselves. It is a public space; any user may access it, and through it, the eye portraits of other users, and the narrated images of their memories. Using this interface, thus, users will be able to 'see' the world from other's point of view, or 'through others' eyes'.

Its interface is dynamic, for it changes according to the amount of eyes in the database and to these images' features. In it, the users' eyes work as pixels or tiles that form different mosaic like collective images. Each time, the image formed by the tiles is that of:

- the last user that input his/her eye, so if the user currently browsing the database has decided to donate his own picture, chances are that he'll be looking at a picture of his own eye formed by those of all the other's participants.

- an iris image which bears the average color of all the user's eyes, thus representing the view of a collectivity or community.

- a colored word that represents the average thing that the user's quote as the concept, situation, feeling or cultural aspect that has a greatest influence in the way they see life. The filter through which they see life, and the color that they relate to this concept.

- the eye of a public personality, leader, artist, intellectual, that influences most of the user's point of view.

The second output application works as an interpreter which will generate a series of images and sounds through the reading of the iris as if the iris was a musical score. It queries a database, but the queries are automated, they come out of the eye analysis and the database contains image video sequences arranged in such a way that they can be recombined to form many different versions of a certain simple argument, for example one same story told by many different narrators. If all the versions are broken into little scenes and recombined according to the iris data, but maintaining the chronological order, the result will be a fragmented narration, told by many people in a particular way for that specific user.

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