Biometrics (2004) is an interactive video controlled by a touch-screen interface.
In the Biometrics installation, the viewer is able to control and change a series of videos by 'touching' them, making physical contact with the virtual. The video that is presented is of hands and feet in a looped performance of gestural actions. Some of the video loops are actual recordings of real hands and feet and some are appendages created in 3-D modeling programs to allow for movement and contortions that would be physically impossible otherwise. As the viewer makes contact with their counter-limbs on the screen, they are allowed to explore their own tele-presence and the new abilities of the virtual body. As they control the body across the screen, it parallels the presence one controls across computer networks and the new abilities and limitations therein.
The virtual body is able to be in more than one place at a time (email, text-messaging, chat-rooms) and it is able to contort itself fluidly (net-identity as expressed by ones website which can be updated and changed regularly). Although the virtual body has new freedoms, it also has its limitations as it exists in a world of limited bandwidth and inelegant, mechanical expression. It is simultaneously a new addition and a specter appendage as it offers a form of new flesh with which to exercise power and will, yet with only limited abilities to affect physical reality.
Biometrics offers the viewer a way to shake hands with the virtual body and begin to come to terms with all that it is and all that it isn't. More importantly, the existence of the virtual body can no longer be denied so it should be looked at seriously and critically.