year: 2003

page: 214-223

quicktime movie


Video installation at the Williamson Gallery, Art Center Pasadena, 2003

"Cheese" is an experiment in the architecture of sincerity developed in co-production with Caltech and the Machine Perception Laboratories of the University of California, San Diego. On camera, six actresses each try to hold a smile for as long as they could, up to one and half hours.
Each ongoing smile is scrutinized by a emotion recognition system and whenever the display of happiness fell below a certain threshold, an alarm alerted them to show more sincerity. Displayed in the gallery on six flat panel monitors, sequenced adjacent to each other along the wall, the piece creates a concert of alert signals within an ambience of forced friendliness and irritating melancholy telling that the performance of sincerity is hard work.

Programming: Sean Crowe, Pierre Moreels
Software: Javier Movellan, Marni Bartlett, Gwen Ford Littlewort, Ian Fasel and Josh Susskind, The Machine Perception Laboratory at the University of California San Diego's Institute for Neural Computation
Actresses: Melissa Berger, Lisa Centeno, Laura Clumeck, Natasha Desai, Tanna Fredrick, Kyra Locke, Susan Marshall, Cameo Cara Martine.