Physiognomic Scrutinizer

Marnix de Nijs
Source: Marnix de Nijs

Marnix De Nijs

Physiognomic Scrutinizer ,
Co-workers & Funding
Produced by Marnix de Nijs
Co-produced by Kontejner, bureau of contemporary art practice
Biometric software implementation, V2_lab, Rotterdam
Proces visualisation, Brecht Debackere, Antwerp
Thanks to Alex Davies and Hans Beekmans
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The first version of the Physiognomic Scrutinizer was developed and presented under the title "Match & Smile" for the Touch Me Festival 2008 (Feel Better) in Zagreb. The design is based on principles employed in security gates seen at airports, shopping malls, football stadiums and other protected public spaces.

A barrier guides visitors towards the brightly lit entrance where a mounted camera records and projects each individual’s image on a LCD monitor at the back of the gate. Two speakers on stands, located directly after the gate, symbolise (act as) security guards.

Equipped with biometric video analysing software, the installation detects and scrutinizes the faces of the people wishing to pass through the gate and enter the exhibition. Rather than try and identify the person, the software probes for facial features and characteristics that are similar to one of the 150 pre-selected persons in the data base: all chosen for controversial or infamous acts. Based on what the software detects, the visitor passing through the entry point will be accused according to the disrepute of their match and an audio fragment regarding this controversy played for all to hear. The complete comparison process is also displayed on the LCD monitor behind the gate and clearly viewable to the on looking public.
  • aesthetics
    • automated
  • genres
    • database art
    • installations
      • interactive installations
Technology & Material
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