Big in Beijing

V2_Lab and Tsinghua University’s pilot begins. Artist Marnix de Nijs is currently working in Beijing with a team from Tsinghua University on a new installation provisionally titled "15 Minutes of Biometric Fame." It is a follow-up to the successful "Physiognomic Scrutinizer."

Big in Beijing

Local machine builders working on "15 Minutes of Biometric Fame". Photo by Marnix de Nijs

With this project, V2_ and Tsinghua University’s plans for establishing an international interdisciplinary art and media lab where Dutch and Chinese artists and students can work together comes a step closer to reality. In 2008, we paid a visit to various departments at the university interested in the possibility of working together at such a lab. Besides offering scope for international residencies, collaboration would also allow for the placement of Chinese students at V2_ as interns and artists-in-residence.

Marnix de Nijs is the first artist to test the new international residence structure. His installation 15 Minutes of Biometric Fame will comprise an autonomously moving robot equipped with a camera. The robot will scan the faces of exhibition visitors and link them to a database of national movie and TV stars. 

Marnix de Nijs has previously produced components for installations in Beijing; these were then shipped to Rotterdam, where they were assembled and software was written for them. Marnix was very enthusiastic when the possibility arose last fall of having the software for his new project developed in China. The camera robot was brought to the university a few weeks ago and is being finished by a local machine builder. The Tsinghua team is poised to integrate the already programmed software modules with the hardware. 

Tsinghua University’s specially assembled team for this pilot consists of:

Team supervisor: Prof. Yuanchun Shi [1]

Yu Zhong, [1] [2]

Xin Li, [1] [2]

Mingming Fan, [1]

Dr. Huijun Di, [1]


[1] Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University

[2] Department of Information Design, Academy of Art and Design, Tsinghua University


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