Laptop Reflections is an installation developed for the exhibition INFODECODATA, at the Graphic Design Museum Breda, Feb - Aug 2010.
We created a tool that, whenever we were using our laptops, took our portraits via the webcam and screenshots of our desktops. This happened automatically every 5 minutes during one year.
The Laptop Reflections exhibition visualized this collection in different ways: an installation consisting of 5 videos, each lasting 3 hours 27 mins, a wall print, a newspaper and the website laptopreflections.org.The images used span the period from 1 April to 16 December 2009.
I am being watched. The gaze comes through the laptop screen, focusing on what is happening on the other side. It sees a picture of a face being formed behind the screen. An open mouth, a laugh, eyes screwed up, sleepy, concentrating hard, irritation and anxiety, teeth, nostrils, bags under the eyes, wrinkles on the forehead, minimal differences in an unchanging gaze. I never look my best, like I really want to have my portrait done.The screen sees me the whole time while I am looking at it, I am not embarrassed by it, it is neutral, invisible even, I don’t register its existence, it is just a glowing surface. The screen is inextricably connected to my life. It is a door that I pull shut behind me, which gives me access to a space where I can disappear. It is my gateway to information, it is my space for communication,
screen? In what surroundings have I opened my screen? And the gaze keeps storing the image – every five minutes – in its memory.
The gaze is not only directed at me, but also at what exactly I am doing onscreen. Am I emailing or on Skype, am I looking for distraction, do I change application frequently – or even do I swap between active windows frequently? Is it text, images, video or sound that accompanies me throughout the day? Does my portrait match what is happening onscreen? If I am watching a film, does my expression fit the images in the film? Are there big differences between the four of us?
We can only discover the patterns and details when the enormous number of images are arranged and displayed in an accessible manner.