Missing Eyes is a single channel video installation in cinemascope format displayed in a projection room. A facial recognition and eye tracking software has been used to measure the eye movement and emotional responses of a group of viewers to a video of the terrorist group ISIS. The said video features a group of young child soldiers whose « rite of passage » is to penetrate an ancient Syrian castle to find and execute prisoners trapped inside in a perverse version of the children’s game « hide and seek ». The video is highly produced and stylistically shares similarity with Hollywood films and series.
In Missing Eyes, this film has been purposely darkened to reveal only spots where the test viewers gazed. Their gaze is shown like ashlights moving across the surface of the image and creating a haunting patter of shadows and light. Elements of the video are still visible, though only barely through this rapidly moving trail of gaze. Missing Eyes reflects on the contemporary culture of images by merging two image-making technologies: the aggressive neo-marketing of the software and the terror inducing product of ISIS, both of which are designed to blend in with their targeted audience’s realm of imagination. It reveals the secret structure and dynamic of propagandist films as well as the blind lust of our eyes for signal and stimulus. The video ultimately engages the viewer to reflect on the ever-deepening meaning of our culture of shared image and content, inviting them to grasp how huge the cave has become.