The Wandering Gaze

In her interactive piece The Wandering Gaze, Ana Teresa Vicente uses eye-tracking technology and a dynamic magnet to erode the surface of a print, causing the photograph to gradually disappear as the viewer observes the image.

The erosion is achieved by installing an X-Y plotter in the framed print and positioning a magnet behind the print. While looking at the photograph through the viewfinder, the path of the viewer’s gaze is recorded by the eye-tracking system and then retraced by the magnet, which in turn forces pieces of metal to move across the surface of the print in direct correlation to the movement of the viewer’s gaze.

As more and more people look at the print, so it is scratched and eroded by the metal shards tracing the trajectory of the viewer’s gaze. Areas which attract greater attention are more aggressively damaged, eventually leaving only the neutral areas visible.

So asks Vicente, knowing that looking at a photograph through the viewfinder will eventually destroy the image, will we keep peeking through it?