Dark mirror: Exhibition explores identity in the digital age

27 : 02 : 2015 Template/variant/friend/stranger : Facial Recognition : The Sharded Self

London – Artist Tony Oursler is back with a bang for his exhibition at Marylebone’s Lisson Gallery exploring identity in the digital age.

Installation view of template/variant/friend/stranger by Tony Oursler at Lisson Gallery, London Installation view of template/variant/friend/stranger by Tony Oursler at Lisson Gallery, London
Installation view of template/variant/friend/stranger by Tony Oursler at Lisson Gallery, London Installation view of template/variant/friend/stranger by Tony Oursler at Lisson Gallery, London
Installation view of template/variant/friend/stranger by Tony Oursler at Lisson Gallery, London Installation view of template/variant/friend/stranger by Tony Oursler at Lisson Gallery, London
Installation view of template/variant/friend/stranger by Tony Oursler at Lisson Gallery, London Installation view of template/variant/friend/stranger by Tony Oursler at Lisson Gallery, London

His first exhibition in the UK for five years, template/variant/friend/stranger, features a maze of seven enormous faces, the eyes and mouths of which have been replaced by screens.

Using an aesthetic that speaks to our surveillance culture and the increasing ubiquity of facial recognition technology, Oursler’s carefully composed silhouettes reflect the altered identities we assume between our offline and online worlds.

Focusing on the face as the locus of communication and identity, Template explores the interaction between features, movement and expression with context, realised through endlessly shifting projections of 150 algorithmically produced eigenfaces.

‘I invite the viewer to glimpse themselves from another perspective, that of the machines we have recently created,’ said Oursler, speaking at the exhibition’s launch.

For more on how consumers are splitting their personalities across a multitude of online platforms, read our macrotrend The Sharded Self.

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