Seiko Mikami: Desire of Code

  • ©2010, Seiko Mikami, Desire of Code
  • ©2010, Seiko Mikami, Desire of Code
  • ©2010, Seiko Mikami, Desire of Code
  • ©2010, Seiko Mikami, Desire of Code


    Desire of Code

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Creation Year:


Art Event Overview:

    In her latest project, Seiko Mikami addresses the relationship between human and machine agents. A matrix of sensors, mini spotlights and surveillance cameras is arranged across the space and follows the movements of visitors. Every movement a viewer makes sets off a response from a whole swarm of small surveillance units, each using their stepper motors to find the right position for pointing at the body present in the room. An uneasy dialogue may evolve in which the visitor looks for strategies to either confuse the machine sensing system, or become completely invisible by standing still.

    There are three parts to this work; the first and second part are being shown in the TRUST exhibition. The first part, Wriggling Wall Units consists of 180 devices distributed across a wall. As soon as a visitor enters the area in front of the wall, the devices’ heads start blinking. They move in the direction of the visitor in synch like an insect’s tentacles. Highly sensitive cameras and microphones able to detect motion and sound beyond human perception record the visitors’ actions and send the recorded images and sounds to an integrated database. From there they are transmitted to Compound Eye Detector Screen. Compound Eye Detector Screen is the second part of the work, and this image is like facets of an insect’s compound eye; countless hexagonal parts make up one large screen. Accumulated visual data in the database from wall cameras, as well as data collected by surveillance cameras installed in public spaces around the globe, are projected onto the single facets that form this screen. Detailed real-time images of visitors’ skin, eyes and hair are projected onto the screen facets where they are mixed with pre-recorded footage of other people and with surveillance images recorded at public places such as airports, parks, hallways and crowded streets from around the world. The accumulating compound eye can be considered a device that illustrates the automatic generation of desire, (data) based on information collected in contemporary information/surveillance society.


    Desire of Code was commissioned by YCAM /Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media.


    Programming Compound Eye Detector Screen: Norimichi Hirakawa
    Hardware Wriggling Wall: TAKEGAHARASEKKEI
    Curator (YCAM): Kazunao Abe
    Co-developed with YCAM InterLab
    Technical direction: Soichiro Mihara & Richi Owaki
    Sound programming: Satoshi Ham


All Works by the Artist(s) in This Archive: