Hello ! So, I wasn't able to implement my idea yet for Wednesday, but I want to reflect a bit on what I was trying to make and the hurdles I encountered along the way:

For this project I was thinking about the following things:

  • the gaze of the camera and its relationship to power when it is paired with motion tracking and visual classification software (how are bodies, through visual software and hardware simplified or amplified in data?)
  • the relationship between the gaze of the camera and the gaze of the subject it is viewing (especially in facial tracking) and the tension of power between the two

Thinking of that I want to (and will) create a program that only allows us to see/read something (i.e. an image, text) "clearly" (not blurry) if we squint. We squint when something we see is too bright, and too small (or when we need corrective lenses)--squinting makes us aware of the limits of our eyes when confronted with certain aspects of the material world.

Another limit I came across: the face tracking templates couldn't see the difference between the resting state of my eyes and when they were squinting (mathematically, it was tricky to define a reliable threshold delineating when my eyes (let alone anyone's eyes) were squinting)--I kind of like to think that the face tracker was "squinting"  at my "squinting" eyes.

I then worked with Golan to make a custom classifier that would differentiate between my "resting face" and my "squinting face," but the implementation of this technique went over my head.

I will try to get this up and working with some additional help.

Some thoughts on how this interaction between camera, motion tracking and the subject could exist in the world at large:

I think it would be interesting to see this idea implemented as a method to see images online, especially graphic images. What if "sensitive" images could only be seen "clearly" (in their full resolution) if we squinted at them. The effort of squinting (a lot of facial muscles are involved) reminds us that seeing is an active, bodily function--we aren't just observers, we are witnesses.