Opto-Isolator I
"Opto-isolator" inverts the condition of spectatorship by exploring the questions: "What if artworks could know how we were looking at them? And, given this knowledge, how might they respond to us?" The sculpture presents a solitary mechatronic blinking eye, at human scale, which responds to the gaze of visitors with a variety of psychosocial eye-contact behaviors that are at once familiar and unnerving. Among other forms of feedback, Opto-isolator looks its viewer directly in the eye; intently studies its viewer's face; looks away coyly if it is stared at for too long; and blinks precisely one second after its viewer blinks.

Mechatronic design and fabrication by Greg Baltus of Standard Robot Company, Pittsburgh. Opto-isolator was developed with support from Creative Capital and the Berkman Faculty Development Fund at Carnegie Mellon University.
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