This project exchanges pixel information with your friend (in place of or in conjunction with video chat) and slowly draws your faces to the screen.

I’ve been thinking about different ways of intervening in the traditional videochat setup, and how the screen, camera, and computer as mediators can improve and complicate our connection with another.

Initially, I was developing a mask — the Photoshop kind — that hid your friend from you during a Skype call until you aligned noses with respect to your screen.

The setup for this exchange involved asking my brother to download CamTwist and Skype and configure them for the OpenProcessing sketch. Even after all that, the results were very laggy. In a way, it was a success, because I certainly had made our communication more complicated.

I moved on to this drawing project because I thought it was a bit more performative. In the current state, the program runs very slowly as it draws you and your friend’s faces to the screen. For this reason, it requires both you and your friend to hold still for a few minutes each time it renders your face. Again the communication is complicated, this time for the sake of a sort of drawing.

This program uses ml5js to find the position of your eyes and nose, and approximates other facial features from them. It prioritizes selecting pixel values from the areas around these features when drawing.