Interactive Campaign Matches People’s Facial Expressions with Museum Works of Art
Rijks Emotions aggregates emotional data and pairs you with a similar painting of the past
Have you ever walked through an art gallery intrigued by the faces in the paintings staring back at you? Once, a favorite past time was spending hours browsing through various rooms at a museum but the immediacy of apps such as Instagram and Vine have consequently shortened attention spans. In the digital age, we feel fulfilled by the immediate gratification of a snapshot viewed on our smartphones. Using technology, a group of four students aim to reclaim the art-viewing experience, particularly for their younger counterparts.
To make museums more relevant to the viewers, the Rijks Emotions project uses facial-recognition API to match our own snapshots with paintings of the past. As a part of the Digital Data Strategy Program at Hyper Island, the students developed a digital campaign prototype for Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. The website’s technology renders the user’s data including age, gender and facial expression and pairs it to a piece of art from the museum with the same qualities.
The highly-personalized recognition offers an interactive and immersive viewing experience through a modern-day lens. Rijks Emotions imagines the interactive advertising as a billboard to be displayed downtown Amsterdam, where users can have their photo taken and matched with a painting from the museum instantaneously.
The concept was inspired by the decline of young people’s attendance and interest at museums; project creators wanted to present the artwork within the context of everyday life. As a result, the technology offers a visual representation of the emotional similarities between today’s faces and the artists, royalty and soldier’s faces of the past. The people – real or fictional – depicted on museum walls are seemingly a lot more alike to our present day selves that we might imagine.