Seeing I
at Ars Electronica, Linz

Mark Farid

Opening to public view from 2 September
Exhibition runs until 9 September during the Ars Electronica Festival: Out of the Box - The Midlife Crisis of the Digital Revolution, 2019


Photo by Milla Lewis

Photo by Milla Lewis

arebyte Gallery are pleased to announce Seeing I, taking place as a residency and trial run exhibition at Ars Electronica, 2019.

Seeing I is a psychological art experiment that examines the implications of surveillance technologies on our experience, and questions how much of the individual is an inherent personality and how large a portion of the individual is conditioned through a cultural identity.

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For seven consecutive days, British artist Mark Farid is living in the exhibition space. In the morning he puts on on a virtual reality headset and watches the first person point-of-view perspective of seven different people (the ‘Other’), from the moment they get out of bed in the morning, to the moment they go to sleep in the evening.

Each day, Farid will watch a different person’s life; eating when they eat, and sleeping when they sleep. Otherwise, Farid is free to do as he pleases within the exhibition space, so long as the headset remains on.

Each night, after the Other goes to sleep, Farid will take off the VR headset and speak to the projects’ clinical psychologist, Dr. Tamara Russell, through a microphone and speakers in the room. On the final night of the residency, a public conversation between Farid and Dr. Russell will take place in the exhibition space. This will be the first time Farid will have seen a real human being for seven days. 

About Seeing I, 2020

Inspired by psychologist Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment (1971), philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation (1981), and artist Josh Harris’ Quiet: We Live in Public (1999), Seeing I uses new technologies to examine constructions of the self in the 21st Century. 

For 24-hours a day, for 14 days, artist Mark Farid will wear a virtual reality headset, seeing and hearing only what one person (the Other) sees and hears for two weeks. The Other is an individual who will record a continuous 220x165° HD panorama of all their immediate sights and sounds, facilitated by a headband fitted with miniature camera lenses and microphones. Farid will witness every waking moment of the Other’s life; from brushing their teeth, to their commute, their work and social life, and their most intimate moments with their partner, family, and friends. 

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Seeing I will confine Farid to a gallery space, subject to the simulated life of the Other. With Farid unable to hear his own voice or see his own hands for two weeks, and with the only stimulation being what the Other sees and hears, how will the constant stream of artificial sights and sounds start to affect Farid’s movement, mannerisms, and personality? How will his indirect relationship with the Other start to affect his own rationale? Without agency to determine all conversations, actions or any expression of self, will Farid start to see himself as the Other, or will his own sense of self be enough to deter significant change?


Mark Farid, Artist, Producer, and Subject

Nimrod Vardi, Funder and Co-Producer 

John Ingle, Film Director

Tadej Vindis, Development of the custom built recorder - System Design and Project Management

Frank Davies , Development of the custom built recorder - System Design and Software Development

Drew Richards - Development of the custom built recorder - Prototyping, Manufacture and 3D Design

Dr. Tamara Russell, Clinical Psychologist

Petri Luukkainen, Film Director

Carl Smith, Live Biometric Research

Mark Ransley, Live Biometric Research

Nick Lambert, Live Biometric Research

Rebecca Edwards, Curator, arebyte Gallery

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