Modern devices are constantly surveilling us—tracking our location, purchases, conversations, and more.

What does it mean to make this artificial gaze visible to the human?
Can we translate the brain of a machine into familiar body language?


This project was shown in exhibition form as part of the Jacobs Design Showcase. It includes three components:

  • Podcast
  • Artifact
  • External Design Objects

The exhibit is inspired by architect, fashion, and interactive designer Behnaz Farahi. It seeks to facilitate a conversation from viewers revolving around the power of being “seen” (or the “gaze”) and the power dynamics in play.

External Design Objects

In Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art, and Aesthetics after Code, author Carolyn L. Kane writes that “Whether optical or algorithmic, color is not exclusively about vision. Rather, it is a system of control used to manage and discipline perception and thus reality”.

In this exhibit, we hoped to convey this line of thought by playing around with the depth perception and composition of our external design objects through RGB lighting. 

Just as chroma key compositing (green screen technology) can be used to replace what we see, our exhibit design builds upon RGB murals by Francesco Rugi, Silvia Quintanilla, and others to forcibly change the environment lighting to alter the perception of our collage. Doing so allows us to control what the viewer is seeing and when.