In the interactive video installation, “Mirror Mirror,” I explore the phenomenon of contagious human behaviors; particularly yawning and smiling. Mirror neurons in the human brain—which are thought to provide us with the ability to understand the actions of others—are also thought responsible for these automatic responses. My goal with this piece was to present the viewer with an opportunity to see how a gesture as simple as a yawn or smile can—by their very nature—allow us to connect and relate to others. In the installation, a facial recognition system is configured to detect yawns and smiles. If a viewer performs one of these actions near the work, recorded videos of others performing these actions begin to play. If bystanders witness the activation of the piece and succumb to their need to smile or yawn, the piece can be activated again.
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