Sjansmachine NFF 2010
Categories: Articles, News, Projects

Sjansmachine version 2.0 was presented during re:visie at the Netherlands Film Festival.

A collaboration with Carmin Karasic & Rolf van Gelder

How have Facebook and online dating sites modified social behavior? What happens when the virtual friend is brought into physical space? How has online dating influenced interpersonal attraction? Like social media, Sjansmachine presents data driven friend suggestions. Emerging technologies, such as face detection and QR codes, are playfully introduced to the public. Sjansmachine’s subjective logic for capturing portraits and matching participants highlights ways in which technologies guide our behavior.

Sjansmachine (Chance machine) is an interactive installation that works with real-time images and face detection software. The aim of this installation is to bring people closer together in a playful and fun way. Like many social networking tools on the Internet these days, Sjansmachine enables you to connect with other people. It plays with the idea that the virtual world is replacing our social life and therefore wants people to connect in the real world again.

The artwork consists of a series of portraits of participants, and a photo booth for taking each participant’s portrait. These portraits are projected on two rows of semi-translucent Plexiglas squares.¬†Inside the booth, the participant sees himself on a computer screen. The Sjansmachine camera detects a face automatically and the participant’s portrait is captured. Two hand-sized cubes are on a shelf below the screen. Each cube surface has text and a QR code to identify a different movie genre: ‘drama’, ‘action’, ‘thriller’, ‘comedy’, etc. The screen prompts the participant to use the cubes to enter their three favorite (movie) genres. The participant intuitively holds a cube in front of the screen to enter their genre choices. After the third genre is entered, a robotic voice says, “Go see yourself on the Sjansmachine wall.” The participant exits the booth to find their portrait added to the projection.

The Sjansmachine algorithms continue to subjectively decide when to snap portraits, match participants, and publically display these matched participants. Mixing face detection, QR codes, humor, and indeterminacy the artwork engages participants in a form of speed dating. The face detection technology alludes to our digital presence, which often precedes us.

Teun Kuilboer en Robert de Hoog & de Sjansmachine: