Art of spying
Ai Weiwei has teamed up with Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron for their take on Big Brother at New York’s Park Avenue Armory. The huge Hansel & Gretel installation sets out to explore the meaning of public space in our surveillance world, using drones and other spy tech to track visitors’ every movement.
The Hansel & Gretel installation leans on a custom facial recognition system that automatically captures visitors' facial biometrics as they move throughout the Armory space, turning faces into 128-dimension feature vectors via deep neural network technology.
And each movement in the Drill Hall is tracked and recorded from above by a grid of 56 small computers with infrared cameras. Images are then projected onto the entire 215 x 145 foot floor which is covered by a total projection surface of 12360 x 7850 pixels.
Those much-watched visitors are getting on the act too, with many of them posting the installation’s output to Instagram. Along with the artists himself.