Countless fingerprints “swim” around like a shoal of fish on a liquid crystal display. Visitors to this exhibition can scan their own fingerprint by placing a finger onto a fingerprint authentication sensor. The newly scanned fingerprint then appears on the display as well, where it immediately starts swimming like a fish released into a pond, and mixes with the other fingerprints until the viewer eventually loses track of his/her own one. When putting the same finger onto the sensor once again, the fingerprint appears out of the swarm and returns to its owner.
Fingerprints are individual features unique to every human being, and have been used through the ages as indicators (marks) to identify people for purposes of personal authentication or criminal investigation. Today, fingerprints as part of biometric authentication technology can be used to accurately determine the identity of a human individual, however in daily life we have no way of perceiving these individual features that distinguish us from others.
Visitors watching their fingerprints being scanned, separated from their bodies, and swimming in the pool may feel as if watching their alter egos. Reversely, when their fingerprint “alter egos” return to their own fingers, they will probably feel for the very first time some kind of “affection” or “compassion” toward their fingerprint—one of their own personal attributes they wouldn’t normally take notice of.
Equipment provision: SAMSUNG JAPAN CORPORATION (2010)
Technical cooperation: NEC Corporation, FUJITA Yoshikazu (Tokyo University of the Arts)