Eyes don't lie

The project started in a conversation that we had in the computational cameras class about surveillance cameras. How people react when they know that they are recorded and when they are not. 

The famous video of a British woman who throw a cat into the trash, make us think about what other controversial things generate different reactions into people.

This project was made in collaboration with Min Jung Kim.

Disturbing is something that we consider is a cultural thing. We all can assume that people react differently according to their cultures, gender, and ages. Food for example, it is a matter that could be disturbing for some people, surgeries, and people’s actions that could be very controversial like bull fights.


There are certain things that could be disturbing for certain people. “Eyes don’t lie” booth will record people’s reactions at some disturbing videos. We are going to show only eyes of those people in a grid, where you will be able to compare expressions, just by looking at their eyes.

What if we only see people’s eyes instead of the entire face? Can we still notice the emotional expressions of people through eyes? Can we even guess the story?

The project will include two monitors, a video camera, a light, one computer running processing, another computer or player to play the video, everything will be covered by a black box. Size: 2 mts x 1 mts. People will see a clip with disturbing videos first and then they go to the other side of the booth to watch their reaction in the upper right square, and other people’s reactions in a grid. There will always be two people, one will be watching the disturbing video, while the other one is watching that reaction that is presented in the upper left square of the grid.

User Scenario

Two sides of the booth have one of each holes. Through a hole in one side of booth, a viewer  watches a disturbing video. At the same time, a camera is recording his/her eye. From another hole on the other side of the booth, another viewer  sees a grid of eyes reacting to the video that is recorded in the other side.

At the beginning we thought about having a 9 square grid, but after some technical problems, but decided to make a four square grid, because it will have the same impact for the viewer.

For processing we tried: Video 1 library, Video 2 library, GS library, MovieMaker Library and we figure out that working with video in processing is VERY DIFFICULT. At the end we make a mix in our sketch using video1 library and Movie Maker. Video Library will let us stream the eye’s of the person watching the disturbing video and Movie Maker will let us record that square of the grid where the eyes appears to pass it then to the second square of the grid. The sketch crashes a lot and that was a problem also. In the sketch itself we had to find a way to record videos and save them in the data folder.

The other problem that we had was to find the perfect camera to record the eyes. It is very difficult thing, because web cams in general doesn’t have a good zoom and not all the videocams works as webcams. So, we work with a video camera Canon HV 20.


The Video Disturbing Booth is only for adults, since some of the videos can be inappropriate for kids. We want people from various cultures to participate in this project.

Cube of Expression

Cube of Expression is a performance at Red’s Applications class, ITP, NYU, New York November 30, 2010 By Min Jung Kim, Valentina Camancho, Eszter Ozsvald & Yonatan Ben-Simhon Four persons create an individual art-pieces of a nude body on the different planes; by the end of the show one realizes that the unique performances become even more powerful as a whole.

Starts with a lighten-up big white cube (6 feet x 6 feet x 6 feet) placed on the middle of the stage. When the music begins Min walks into to the stage and starts painting on the front side of the cube with traditional korean ink; a naked person, Yoni. She leaves when the music ends. With the support of Eszter she rotates the cube 90 degrees. Valentina starts projecting on the “new” side of the cube. She creates a photoshop collage using Yoni’s photos. When she finishes, Eszter replaces her while Min and Valentina rotate the cube once more. Eszter presents a live-coding visualization made in fluxus introducing Yoni’s bared body. Until now the art-pieces are supported by three different music picked so that they correlate with the flow of the individual self-expressions.

When Eszter finishes her part, the group flips the cube and Yoni steps out (almost) naked, reading a letter to the audience. With his words he brings the audience into an intimate space; it is a monologue/ self questioning of what it means to be accepted, being in a place where everything is new and nothing is stable.