Face Hacking

What makes a mask a mask? How does a change in technology affect this ancient practice of transformation? I stumbled upon this video on Facebook. It’s pretty interesting what they are doing. In one respect, it’s a live-time version of makeup—the face is decorated with moving images, but the dimensions of the face are not altered as they would be when wearing a physical mask.


Later, I looked around for more information. I found another blogger’s article here. Text below is reprinted from that post.

“On a Christmas episode of Fuji Television’s SMAP X SMAP, two members of the J-pop boy band SMAP (Shingo Katori and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi) were used to demonstrate just how close we are to the next level of using these type of “laser” projectors in an entertainment venue. Both members had little round nodules placed at strategic points on their face to allow for a motion-tracking software program to follow their movement and adjust for the beams of light to “colour” their face in a wide-variety of ways. In one moment they would look like a Transformer and in another, they are cat-like aliens in disguise. Shingo and Tsuyoshi-san wore real make-up to help highlight their facial structures and to act like a reflective canvas medium for the lights to sculpt their faces into truly alien forms. To note, they had to close their eyes during the demonstration.”

What do you think? Is it a mask, or something else?

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