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Artist uses Apple Store customers as his subjects (Updated)


Here's a fun project. Artist Kyle McDonald's "People Staring at Computers" photo collection features images of more than 1,000 faces, snapped as they gazed at Macs in New York Apple Stores. While looking at the images, it's fun to wonder just what the users were staring at, though it's impossible to tell. Some look delighted, while others seem perplexed and even concerned.

You'll also find a wide range of users, from young and old to customers and, in one case at least, an Apple Store employee. The whole thing reminds me of those photos of people about to place their order in a restaurant.

The question here is, how did McDonald get Apple Store display Macs to shoot photos for him? According to ifoAppleStore, he used a bit of software that "he slipped onto Macintosh display computers at Manhattan Apple retail stores." Later, he configured other machines to randomly display some of the captured images, much to the befuddlement of shoppers and workers alike.

It was a fun project and a very contemporary one. Now, more than ever, we spend huge amounts of time staring at little, glowing boxes.

Clearly an evolutionary leap is imminent. Cue Also Sprach Zarathustra.

Update: The U.S. Secret Service has raided Mr. McDonald's home. It seems setting up 100 public computers to covertly photograph their operators is a no-no. What price art?

People Staring at Computers from Kyle McDonald on Vimeo.

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